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s8int
2002-May-20, 08:37 PM
The Solar System, the Ultimate Oopart II! God winked! Absolute proof that the solar system was designed! G.E.S. Curtis discovers in 1980 that the orbits of the planets in our solar system are non random.

The big bang theory says that the solar system is the result of a huge explosion (from nothing yet) leading to the capture of the planets and their random orbits around the sun.

What if it could be proven that there is absolutely nothing random about the orbits of the planets in our solar system at all.

What if it could be shown that each was carefully placed in their exact orbits, as Curtis demonstrates that it does? This is a death knell for Materialism, for the Big Bang theory, the Nebular Hypothesis and is proof that the solar system was created and designed!

http://home.talkcity.com/InspirationAv/vs8int/philesolarequation.html

The Bad Astronomer
2002-May-20, 09:11 PM
There are quite a few errors in your post, but I only have time for one: the Big Bang does not say the solar system started as an explosion, and the planets were not captured randomly. I suggest you find a good website (say, Astronomy Notes (http://www.astronomynotes.com)) and read what about scientists are thinking about the origin of the Universe and the solar system.

Onmce you understand what the basics are, then you can argue for or against them. Arguing from ignorance won't win any converts on this board.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: The Bad Astronomer on 2002-05-20 17:11 ]</font>

Chip
2002-May-20, 09:22 PM
On 2002-05-20 16:37, s8int wrote:
"...The big bang theory says that the solar system is the result of a huge explosion (from nothing yet) leading to the capture of the planets and their random orbits around the sun..."


The "Big Bang" theory says nothing about the solar system. (Our solar system is a much later, and much much smaller development).

The "Big Bang" theory has nothing to say about "random orbits" within our solar system.

The "Big Bang" theory does not say that the solar system was the result of an "explosion".

There are several types of "Big Bang" theories that have developed over the years. Please check into them to find out more.

Try here: http://www.badastronomy.com/mad/1996/bigbang.html

And here:
http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmology_faq.html

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Silas
2002-May-20, 09:41 PM
Bode's Law has been "old news" for how long? Centuries?

(Hey, everybody, I just discovered that x^2 + y^2 = z^2 for right triangles!)

Silas

Conrad
2002-May-21, 10:41 AM
That post is so silly I feel sillier even responding to it. And I know nothing about astronomy!

David Hall
2002-May-21, 01:24 PM
Seightint? Is he trying to tell us something...?

I just want to point out that, even IF an exact relationship among planets were discovered, it would in no way indicate an intelligent designer. Nature is replete with examples of natural organization. Everything from snowflakes to sand dunes (My favorite has to be buckyballs. They're so cool).

In fact, the discovery of such order not only doesn't cause scientists to throw up their hands in despair, it actually tends to cause excitement and spur a fervent rush to discover what natural processes could be at work to form such outstanding complexity. Sure, supernatural forces could be involved, but experience has shown that it isn't necessary to call up some supernatural deity every time some bit of non-randomness is discovered.

I think it's been demonstrated that there MAY be a logarithmic progression of the orbital distances of the planets. But the fit is definitely not perfect. And as pointed out above, it has no relationship to cosmology or anything else. The only thing it MIGHT ruin is the theory of solar system creation, and only if it's definitely proven to exist and can't be explained within the current theory.

The Curtmudgeon
2002-May-21, 07:23 PM
On 2002-05-21 09:24, David Hall wrote:
I just want to point out that, even IF an exact relationship among planets were discovered, it would in no way indicate an intelligent designer. Nature is replete with examples of natural organization. Everything from snowflakes to sand dunes (My favorite has to be buckyballs. They're so cool).

Indeed, Fibonacci was having fun with such things back in Italy several centuries ago--things like the spirals on sunflowers and the placement of leaves on a vine.

And Fib's sequence is so much simpler than the maths on Curtis' page, it would seem to be even better proof of an Intelligent (and Mathematically-Oriented) Designer. Start with two units--1, 1--and just keep adding the last two numbers together: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, ... Such nicely elegant numbers, no logarithms, no pis, no nasty decimals that are "accurate to five places" but not to six.



In fact, the discovery of such order not only doesn't cause scientists to throw up their hands in despair, it actually tends to cause excitement and spur a fervent rush to discover what natural processes could be at work to form such outstanding complexity. Sure, supernatural forces could be involved, but experience has shown that it isn't necessary to call up some supernatural deity every time some bit of non-randomness is discovered.

But that's why I brought up Fib's sequence, David. One of the simplest of all mathematical relations in nature, and it occurs in countless ways and places that have no logical/natural connection to each other. And to this day, nobody can explain why. They just notice that they've encountered it, say "Okay, that's another Fib sequence", and go on.



I think it's been demonstrated that there MAY be a logarithmic progression of the orbital distances of the planets. But the fit is definitely not perfect. And as pointed out above, it has no relationship to cosmology or anything else. The only thing it MIGHT ruin is the theory of solar system creation, and only if it's definitely proven to exist and can't be explained within the current theory.


I've saved off the URL to study the maths some more, but I must say that even after a single cursory reading it leaves me a bit dry.

I believe that God created the Universe and everything in it, according to His design and plan. I believe that He even planned and designed seemingly unimportant details such as the ratio of distances between leaves on a vine or the spiral patterns in sunflowers, never mind such grand wonders as the dance of the planets. But when someone has to go to that much effort to tease out a mathematical formula that is "accurate to five (but not six) decimal places" and "correct to within 0.2% (but not 0.02%), except in one case where it's not even that close" and say that that is evidence of God's Handiwork, then I must say that I believe God to be a better mathematician than that.

The (God doesn't rely on slide-rule precision) Curtmudgeon

(Removed a "Dept. of Redundancy Dept." phrase.)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: The Curtmudgeon on 2002-05-21 15:31 ]</font>

Chip
2002-May-21, 08:03 PM
On 2002-05-21 15:23, The Curtmudgeon wrote:

"...I believe that God created the Universe and everything in it, according to His design and plan. I believe that He even planned and designed seemingly unimportant details such as the ratio of distances between leaves on a vine or the spiral patterns in sunflowers, never mind such grand wonders as the dance of the planets..."

"He"?
Isn't that a bit provincial of us earthly mammals? How about "They"?
"She" of course might seem more symbolically natural. But seriously, just imagine: no doctrine, no ideology, no proof, no need to "join" -- just "is".

Who designed God?
(Instead of getting into ideology, why not say "ThE BiG BaNg" did it!) If you believe in God, that might actually seem more respectful. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Anecdote:
Albert Einstein: (Objecting to quantum uncertainty) "God doesn't play dice with the universe."
Niels Bohr to Albert Einstein: "Albert, stop telling God what to do."
Albert Einstein to Niels Bohr: "I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it."
Einstein also said: "The cosmic religious experience is the strongest and noblest driving force behind scientific research."

Some "hidden variable theories" may bridge the gap between the "uncertainty principle" and physics. Maybe not. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

The Curtmudgeon
2002-May-21, 08:18 PM
On 2002-05-21 16:03, Chip wrote:
Anecdote:
Albert Einstein: (Objecting to quantum uncertainty) "God doesn't play dice with the universe."
Niels Bohr to Albert Einstein: "Albert, stop telling God what to do."
Albert Einstein to Niels Bohr: "I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it."

That's always been one of my favourite science anecdotes. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


Einstein also said: "The cosmic religious experience is the strongest and noblest driving force behind scientific research."


Einstein was only one of the most recent (and not the last) of the great religious scientists, although of course I cannot say I agree with him on all religious questions. But in that regard he was in a very long and illustrious sequence, including Isaac Newton, whose expository work on the Book of Daniel isn't quite as well known as his physics /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif (and I'm going to have to track a copy down and read it one of these days). The bizarre idea that religion--especially Christianity--and science have to be at odds is only a recent aberration, historically speaking.

The (but let's not hazzard the BA's blood pressure by continuing this line of discussion) Curtmudgeon

GrapesOfWrath
2002-May-21, 08:26 PM
On 2002-05-21 15:23, The Curtmudgeon wrote:
One of the simplest of all mathematical relations in nature, and it occurs in countless ways and places that have no logical/natural connection to each other. And to this day, nobody can explain why.

I'm not sure that this is quite true. The elements of the fibonacci sequence are, in the limit, expressions of the golden ratio. The ratio of the part to the whole is the same as the part of the part to the part, and so on. Fibonacci found it from natural sequences associated with growth, and I've seen it applied to flower petals. Basically, they fill in the spaces with a tendencey to approximate the golden ratio--and the result is the fibonacci sequence.

OK, maybe it's not a perfect explanation.

Denise
2002-May-21, 08:29 PM
Well, either way, a person's personal religious beliefs have nothing to do with scientific theory. A great new theory could be put forth by a Scientologists and it has nothing to do with the validity of the theory.

It seems to me that the conflict arises only when a theory contradicts the bible. Then the reference in the bible becomes "symbolic".

Ok the Earth is round so now the four corners of the Earth in the bible becomes "symbolic." There was never a world wide flood, so now the story of Noah is either "symbolic" or confined to a certain region. Just some examples from the top of my head.

Prince
2002-May-21, 08:36 PM
If Geocentricity could be proven absolutely, it would be a powerful argument in favour of design, but still not enough to convince some diehards! Meanwhile, Geocentrists should be grateful to Einstein for having given them a lifeline, until Michelson-Morley is carried out on the Moon, or until the Creator communicates to mankind the true state of cosmology, within the next 198 years!


"The relativity theory of dynamics is not
a purely academic matter, for it upsets
the Copernican world view. It is mean-
ingless to speak of a difference in truth
ciaims of the theories of Copernicus, and
Ptolemy (and Brahe). The two (three) conceptions are equivalent descriptions. What had been considered the greatest discovery of western science since antiquity, is now denied its claim to truth....the idea of simplicity cannot be used to decide between the Ptolemaic and
Copernican conceptions. The Copernican
conception is indeed simpler, but this
does not make it any "truer", since this
simplicity is descriptive. The simplicity is
due to the fact that one of the concep-
tions employs more expedient definitions.
But the objective state of affairs is inde-
pendent of the choice of definitions; this
choice can result in a simpler descrip-
tion, but it cannot yield a "truer" picture
of the world. That these definitions, e.g.
the definition of rest according to Coper-
nicus. lead to a simpler description, of
course expresses a feature of reality and
s therefore an objective statement. The
choice of the simplest description is thus
possible only with the advance of knowledge and can in general be carried through
only within certain limits. One descrip-
tion may be simplest for some pheno-
mena white a different description may
be simplest for others; but no simplest
description is distinguished from other
descriptions with regard to truth. The
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_eek.gifncept of truth does not apply here,
since we are dealing with definitions"
(The Philosophy of Space & Time, Hans Reichenbach p217)

GrapesOfWrath
2002-May-21, 08:44 PM
On 2002-05-21 16:36, Prince wrote:
It is mean-
ingless to speak of a difference in truth
ciaims of the theories of Copernicus, and
Ptolemy (and Brahe).

Einstein said the same thing. Or at least, he allowed it to be published under his name.

Kizarvexis
2002-May-21, 09:34 PM
Can anyone give a simple description of what Geocentricity is? Please use simple language. I have been out of school for a long time. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Kizarvexis


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kizarvexis on 2002-05-21 17:34 ]</font>

Karl
2002-May-21, 10:42 PM
On 2002-05-21 17:34, Kizarvexis wrote:
Can anyone give a simple description of what Geocentricity is? Please use simple language. I have been out of school for a long time. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Kizarvexis

Sure, the whole universe revolves around a fixed earth because the Bible says so.

http://www.fixedearth.com/

Chip
2002-May-21, 11:32 PM
On 2002-05-21 17:34, Kizarvexis wrote:
Can anyone give a simple description of what Geocentricity is? Please use simple language. I have been out of school for a long time. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


It is an artificial construct adapted by religious fundamentalists that places the earth (and specifically leaders and members of the fundamentalist religion) at the center of the entire universe, with all stars and galaxies rotating around them. In reality it is a throwback to a dark age mentality. It is a component in the fundamentalist desire to convert the majority of the population, and subvert the education of citizens in order to advance their ideology, which could be defined as "a literal interpretation of the Bible" but usually for the purpose of extreme rightwing political agendas. It is therefore usually much more political than religious, and definitely not scientific. It is part of a desire to impart an authoritarian dogma for personal gain, in place of natural inquiry. In short, it is ideological idolatry.

How's that? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Kizarvexis
2002-May-21, 11:36 PM
On 2002-05-21 19:32, Chip wrote:


On 2002-05-21 17:34, Kizarvexis wrote:
Can anyone give a simple description of what Geocentricity is? Please use simple language. I have been out of school for a long time. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


It is an artificial construct adapted by religious fundamentalists that places the earth (and specifically leaders and members of the fundamentalist religion) at the center of the entire universe, with all stars and galaxies rotating around them. In reality it is a throwback to a dark age mentality. It is a component in the fundamentalist desire to convert the majority of the population, and subvert the education of citizens in order to advance their ideology, which could be defined as "a literal interpretation of the Bible" but usually for the purpose of extreme rightwing political agendas. It is therefore usually much more political than religious, and definitely not scientific. It is part of a desire to impart an authoritarian dogma for personal gain, in place of natural inquiry. In short, it is ideological idolatry.

How's that? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif


Sounds quite good. But since the Earth is quite firmly revolving around the Sun, aren't they being quite silly. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Kizarvexis
Darn, only 2 quites in one sentence. I'll have to work on that. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Chip
2002-May-22, 12:22 AM
On 2002-05-21 19:36, Kizarvexis wrote:
Sounds quite good. But since the Earth is quite firmly revolving around the Sun, aren't they being quite silly. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif
Darn, only 2 quites in one sentence. I'll have to work on that. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


Quite so! "Quite silly" is a good description. I could have probably squeezed it in, but my description was getting top heavy. (Hey, I just used quite two...I mean...three times - it's a chain reaction! I'll have to get some fresh air!) /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Prince
2002-May-22, 05:20 AM
Einstein's disciple Prof Lincoln Barnett said: "We cannot feel or motion through space. Nor has any experiment actually proved that the Earth is in motion!". If you say that Geocentricity is "silly", then you have to say that Einstein (and Mach and Barnett) are also "silly"! Maybe you are one of the growing number of Anti-Relativists? If so, what is your explanation of the MM and MG experiments?
http://www.geocentricity.com

Firefox
2002-May-22, 05:24 AM
I'd find the concept of incredibly massive objects (stars, galaxies, etc.) orbiting at great distances around an insignificantly small object like the Earth quite silly.


-Adam

Karl
2002-May-22, 05:45 AM
On 2002-05-22 01:20, Prince wrote:
Einstein's disciple Prof Lincoln Barnett said: "We cannot feel or motion through space. Nor has any experiment actually proved that the Earth is in motion!". . .


If you. of course, ignore the overall anisotropy of the cosmic background radiation:

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1977PhRvL..39..898S&db_key=AST&high=3ceacba61819148

"This observation is readily interpreted as due to motion of the earth relative to the radiation with a velocity of 390 plus or minus 60 km/sec. "

edit to fix spelling /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Karl on 2002-05-22 01:46 ]</font>

beskeptical
2002-May-22, 05:47 AM
On 2002-05-20, Silas wrote:
Bode's Law has been "old news" for how long? Centuries? (Hey, everybody, I just discovered that x^2 + y^2 = z^2 for right triangles!)
Silas
Prior to that on the same day, the BA wrote:

Once you understand what the basics are, then you can argue for or against them. Arguing from ignorance won't win any converts on this board

Silas, in a past post you criticized how I described the Bible as not having any evidence of being more than man-written in a limited area of the world.

I just want to make note of the above two approaches to responding to s8int above. I am more inclined to respond in a frank maybe mildly curt manner such as the BA. I would not respond in the sarcastic way that you have. I just may not always 'polite down' my messages. Thankyou for giving me the opportunity to correct your misjudgement of me. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Prince
2002-May-22, 09:50 AM
To quote the BA from the earlier "Evidence for Heliocentricty" postings:

"We have hashed out before that really the only difference between geo- and helio- centrism is a change in coordinates".

Karl's "interpretation" of the Earth moving wrt to the background radiation, can EQUALLY be well interpreted as space moving wrt a stationary Earth. Don't you accept Relativity?! Is Karl a closet disciple of Marinov?http://www.geocentricity.com/papers.htm

Karl
2002-May-22, 11:44 AM
On 2002-05-22 05:50, Prince wrote:
Karl's "interpretation" of the Earth moving wrt to the background radiation, can EQUALLY be well interpreted as space moving wrt a stationary Earth.

Then we couldn't be at the center could we?

And any arbitrary point could be equally difficultly transformed (per Einstein) to be the stationary. Right?

So why the insistance that M-M be performed on the moon? If space moves wrt the earth, wouldn't it on the moon also?

Edit to add text


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Karl on 2002-05-22 08:39 ]</font>

Silas
2002-May-22, 03:58 PM
Silas, in a past post you criticized how I described the Bible as not having any evidence of being more than man-written in a limited area of the world.

I just want to make note of the above two approaches to responding to s8int above. I am more inclined to respond in a frank maybe mildly curt manner such as the BA. I would not respond in the sarcastic way that you have. I just may not always 'polite down' my messages. Thankyou for giving me the opportunity to correct your misjudgement of me. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif



Um... I'm confuzled (confused and/or bamboozled?) by this. If I read correctly, you're scolding me (gently) for having been sarcastic... Guilty as charged, and apologies.

(If this wasn't what you meant...um...email me?)

Silas

The Curtmudgeon
2002-May-22, 09:18 PM
On 2002-05-21 16:26, GrapesOfWrath wrote:


On 2002-05-21 15:23, The Curtmudgeon wrote:
And to this day, nobody can explain why.

I'm not sure that this is quite true. The elements of the fibonacci sequence are, in the limit, expressions of the golden ratio. The ratio of the part to the whole is the same as the part of the part to the part, and so on. Fibonacci found it from natural sequences associated with growth, and I've seen it applied to flower petals. Basically, they fill in the spaces with a tendencey to approximate the golden ratio--and the result is the fibonacci sequence.

OK, maybe it's not a perfect explanation.


Absolutely no offense intended, Grapes, but you've only just moved the goalposts. Why should the petal separations tend to approximate the golden ratio, rather than say a simpler 1:2 or 1:3 proportion?

And again, please note that the Golden Ratio itself was originally described from a purely mathematical basis--it was a very much prized (perhaps I could say, "loved") geometrical oddity of the Pythagoreans--and only later was discovered to reside in Nature, which as a general rule tends very much not to go with pure geometry (i.e., no perfect spheres in natural creatures, nor perfect equilateral triangles, nor perfect 45/45/90 right triangles, etc.). The ancient Greeks loved to build the GR into nearly everything they built (the front fascade of the Parthenon contains dozens of examples alone), but again this was because it matched up with the Aristotlean idea of a 'world' of perfect types that lies behind, and is only imperfectly copied in, the natural world.

And yet, as you point out, the GR suddenly pops up in Nature. Rather odd.

The (unfortunately, the ratio of my height to my weight isn't quite Golden enough) Curtmudgeon

The Curtmudgeon
2002-May-22, 09:28 PM
On 2002-05-21 16:29, Denise wrote:
Well, either way, a person's personal religious beliefs have nothing to do with scientific theory. A great new theory could be put forth by a Scientologists and it has nothing to do with the validity of the theory.

I'm in perfect agreement there, Denise. My only point was that it is possible, despite what many skeptics would prefer you to believe, to be a very strong Christian and a very good scientist at the same time. Most skeptical sites, books, etc., that I've come across treat the very concept as a 'logical' impossibility, on the order of a "round square".



It seems to me that the conflict arises only when a theory contradicts the bible. Then the reference in the bible becomes "symbolic".

Ok the Earth is round so now the four corners of the Earth in the bible becomes "symbolic." There was never a world wide flood, so now the story of Noah is either "symbolic" or confined to a certain region. Just some examples from the top of my head.


We could go back and forward on this one for a while, Denise, and BA Phil would have my liver for lunch (well, maybe he's a vegetarian, but you know what I mean /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif ). If you are interested in seeing the "other side" of those examples (and, of course, others), such as why poetical language has always been poetical--and recognisably so--even when some people tried to make "scientific" theories based on it, I can point you to a couple of good sites: Tektonics Apologetics (http://www.tektonics.org/) and A Christian Think Tank (http://www.christian-thinktank.com/).

And, of course, if you aren't interested, you can simply ignore those links. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

The (it's completely your own choice) Curtmudgeon

<font color=darkgreen>Oh boy! BA Intern at last! Now, what to do for an encore?</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: The Curtmudgeon on 2002-05-22 17:31 ]</font>

Silas
2002-May-22, 09:31 PM
Fibonacci ratios pop up in nature because of the self-resemblance of the ratio. It's embedded in the geometry of space.

If you take three golden rectangles and put them all together at right angles with their centers coincident, the 12 points of their vertices will be the vertices of an icosahedron, and also the centers of the faces of a dodecahedron.

(If you take a large number of spheres -- peas are the classic real-world example -- and cause them to expand evenly within an enclosed space -- i.e. boil the peas in a lidded pot that is a bit too small -- they will deform into dodecahedra -- )

Spirals, such as those of sunflower seeds, are often self-resembling, and thus the self-resembling properties of the golden ratio are often found.

Silas

The Curtmudgeon
2002-May-22, 09:33 PM
On 2002-05-21 18:42, Karl wrote:


On 2002-05-21 17:34, Kizarvexis wrote:
Can anyone give a simple description of what Geocentricity is? Please use simple language. I have been out of school for a long time. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Kizarvexis

Sure, the whole universe revolves around a fixed earth because the Bible says so.

http://www.fixedearth.com/


Actually, the best "Fundamentalist" answer to geocentricity is: According to the Bible, the "centre of the Universe" isn't the Earth, but rather God.

The (yeah, I know you're not particularly looking for Fundamentalist answers) Curtmudgeon

Denise
2002-May-22, 09:42 PM
Well, I think most scientists that are believers are theists as opposed to Christians. I have read my fill of Christian apologetics and talked to enough Christians to have my fill of their opinions on the world to understand their viewpoint. I still believe it is invalid.

Is religious debate frowned upon on this board? Just curious, and not really wanting to get into it.

Here is a link originally posted on the JREF board for general perusal. It was posted by Dustin Hughes and I take no credit for finding it.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27686

Anyhow, I think that scientists like this might be a part of the problem. He says the skeleton negates evolution. Ummm... How? Well apparently he's not telling! Bwahahahah! Makes me wonder why.

The Curtmudgeon
2002-May-23, 12:50 AM
On 2002-05-22 17:42, Denise wrote:
Is religious debate frowned upon on this board? Just curious, and not really wanting to get into it.

Off-topic debates of any kind, whether religious, gardening, or favourite race-car driver, are frowned upon, and rightly so. As long as we can keep fairly close to astronomical subjects, or at least generally-related physics and the like, we can certainly talk about religious aspects of, or reactions to, the topic at hand. But, f'rinstance, if I were to post on why your point claiming that Biblical interpretation changes because our scientific views of the world have changed is wrong, and whether or not the Bible actually teaches a flat earth, is edging into that grey-and-getting-darker area called Off-Topic.

By the way, my attempts at painting BA Phil as a man-eating ogre who violently reacts to any infringement on OT are all intended to be seen as humourous exaggerations. Phil has never come close to saying anything extremely harsh to me personally, although I know he's had to with some other posters. On the other hand, I certainly respect his right to control the content on his bulletin board, and so I'm really engaged more in reminding myself not to step over the edge than I am at (perish the thought!) baiting Phil or any posters here.



Here is a link originally posted on the JREF board for general perusal.

I'm a regular lurker on JREF, although I've stopped posting there due to several considerations.



Anyhow, I think that scientists like this might be a part of the problem. He says the skeleton negates evolution. Ummm... How? Well apparently he's not telling!

Umm, did you read the whole article, Denise? Try paragraph 8. And nowhere in the article does he say "negates evolution"--that's your phrase. Instead, the article says:



"The evidence strongly points to a relatively recent and catastrophic event similar to that described in the Bible as the flood of Noah's day," he said.


"Strongly points to a ... recent ... event" and "negates evolution" are not equivalent phrases. Judging from the article, he's dealing with it as he should: evidence to be evaluated. Sure, he wants to see it as supportive of his belief that the evolutionary theory is wrong; but to say that he's claiming that this one piece of evidence has completely negated the evolutionary theory is to seriously overstate his position.

But enough now. Let's take this to Private Message if you want to continue it. Or Phil really will start measuring my liver for his dinner plate.

The (I hope he enjoys it pre-marinated) Curtmudgeon

Kizarvexis
2002-May-23, 03:11 AM
On 2002-05-22 01:20, Prince wrote:
Einstein's disciple Prof Lincoln Barnett said: "We cannot feel or motion through space. Nor has any experiment actually proved that the Earth is in motion!". If you say that Geocentricity is "silly", then you have to say that Einstein (and Mach and Barnett) are also "silly"! Maybe you are one of the growing number of Anti-Relativists? If so, what is your explanation of the MM and MG experiments?
http://www.geocentricity.com


Thank you for the link. The model picture on the first page was the second funniest thing I have read today. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

I've bookmarked the post to read in depth.

Kizarvexis
Sorry if I'm seem sarcastic, but it was.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kizarvexis on 2002-05-22 23:11 ]</font>

beskeptical
2002-May-23, 05:39 AM
Yes Silas, it was meant as a 'gentle' reprimand, after your comment to my post that went something like "Ouch, I wouldn't have put it that way". I am not qualified to criticize anyone, so don't think that was the intent.

Take the above comment, sarcastic or not, it seems to be an honest response to the web link. I don't take that as making fun of the poster. That might be my kind of sarcasm. In fact, I couldn't help but notice, were those astrology symbols on the diagram?

I found the link to be very odd. I can't picture the planets and sun moving in any way that would even suggest the diagram as a possible model. I wonder how one person could perceive the universe in this manner, and, are there others to whom it sounded logical? What is the point?

Denise
2002-May-23, 01:23 PM
Yes, I did read the article! I think I summed it up nicely. One last word on this and I will leave it alone. I promise.

From the article-
"We found a complete section of vertebrae more than 12 feet in length, which was fully articulated. The dinosaur appears to be in much the same position as he was at the time of his death and burial, which must have been virtually instantaneous, and caused by a catastrophic event. Not only was this fully articulated dinosaur found lying in a bed of leaves and plant debris, but there is wood from trees mixed in among the bones, some of which contains petrified and unpetrified elements in the same piece of wood. If this creature were millions of years old, the evidence would look quite different."

Now to my skeptic brain this means that the man is asserting that the fossil is less than millions of years old meaning, or course, that the timeline of evolution on earth subscribed to by most scientist is wrong. Thus negating evolution, or at least a part of it as well as geology etc..

Again from the article -
"Up to now, a well-funded and insular community of evolutionary theorists have dominated the field of paleontology, directing most of the large dinosaur finds to research and museums committed to interpreting the fossil evidence through the faith-driven assumptions of evolution," said Phillips. "To have a dinosaur of this size and significance within the camp of scientists committed to the creation model is nothing short of a coup d'etat."



From Merriam Webster
Main Entry: coup d'état
Variant(s): or coup d'etat /"kü-(")dA-'tä, 'kü-(")dA-", -d&-/
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural coups d'état or coups d'etat /-'tä(z), -"tä(z)/
Etymology: French, literally, stroke of state
Date: 1646
: a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics; especially : the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group

Anyhow, I do remember you from the JREF board. It would be nice if you came back!

Caryn
2002-May-23, 05:27 PM
How were dinosaurs were even able to exist? As creatures get larger, their weight increases in proportion
to volume. But their strength only increses in proportion to the cross sectional area of muscle in a particular limb -
the familar square-cube problem. In the present environment, the maximum weight for an animal to exist ie. to be able
lift its own weight off the ground can be shown to be the solution to 1,340/340.667 = x/x.667, or about 21,000 pounds.
The heaviest elephant is not more than 14,000 pounds. The Brontosaur, which was mostly gut plus a huge digestive
system for processing low-value foodstuffs, stood in at
70,000 pounds! And the Brontosaur was itself dwarfed by the
Supersaur and Ultrasaur at 180 tons! Was dinosaur muscle
tissue superior to human? The Barosaur stood at 45 feet, and for its blood to
have been able to have reached its brain, the blood pressure
had to be 1,000 mm Hg! A giraffe at 18 feet has a blood
pressure of 200 mm Hg. Why did the Barosaur's vascular
system not rupture? At 25 pounds, hunting eagles, bred for size and
strength, get into the air with the greatest difficulty. Yet
the Pterosaur, at 350 pounds and with a 40 foot wingspan,
broke all the rules of flight engineering, bone strength and
wing musculature. Something must have been very different in
the dinosaur age. Maybe gravity was less than today. Another
possibiliy is the theory that the speed of light was
higher in the past. In addition to having many astronomical
and geological implications, a higher c would have resulted
in lower fluid viscosity, faster nerve impulses, more
efficient breathing, diffusion, growth, blood flow, ion
transfer, and higher lift to drag ratios!

Firefox
2002-May-23, 05:30 PM
Does this equation work with land animals only, or animals in general? Blue whales weigh, on average, around 220,000 pounds.


Adam

Geo3gh
2002-May-23, 06:36 PM
On 2002-05-23 13:27, Caryn wrote:
How were dinosaurs were even able to exist?


This is getting way off topic. I recommend you go to Talk.Origins (http://www.talkorigins.org) for information on this. For specific articles on the topics you mention here, look at:

<ul>
The Decay of c-decay (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c-decay.html)
Sauropods, Elephants, Weightlifters (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/sauropods.html)



_________________
Jeff Schwarz
__________________________________________________
I have Invader's blood coursing through my veins
like radioactive rubber pants! The pants command
me! Do not ignore my veins!
--Invader ZIM

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Geo3gh on 2002-05-23 14:44 ]</font>

Geo3gh
2002-May-23, 06:49 PM
On 2002-05-23 13:27, Caryn wrote:
How were dinosaurs were even able to exist? As creatures get larger, their weight increases in proportion
to volume. But their strength only increses in proportion to the cross sectional area of muscle in a particular limb -
the familar square-cube problem. In the present environment, the maximum weight for an animal to exist ie. to be able
lift its own weight off the ground can be shown to be the solution to 1,340/340.667 = x/x.667, or about 21,000 pounds.
The heaviest elephant is not more than 14,000 pounds.


For regulars on Talk.Origins, this is vintage Ted Holden. The figures are wrong, to put it simply. The FAQ from T.O covers it.

Silas
2002-May-23, 07:37 PM
On 2002-05-23 13:30, Firefox wrote:
Does this equation work with land animals only, or animals in general? Blue whales weigh, on average, around 220,000 pounds.


Adam


Land animals only... Sea critters are suspended by the water... Since animal flesh is very close to the same density as water, you can (roughly) envision a great whale as "a bag of water in the water."

(But don't tell him that to his face...)

Silas

Geo3gh
2002-May-23, 09:26 PM
On 2002-05-23 15:37, Silas wrote:


On 2002-05-23 13:30, Firefox wrote:
Does this equation work with land animals only, or animals in general? Blue whales weigh, on average, around 220,000 pounds.


Adam


Land animals only... Sea critters are suspended by the water... Since animal flesh is very close to the same density as water, you can (roughly) envision a great whale as "a bag of water in the water."

(But don't tell him that to his face...)

Silas



I don't even think that this works for land animals. The equation quoted is from Ted Holden's web page (I can't find the link anymore). What Holden did was work out how large you could make a champion weightlifter so that his weight was equal to his maximum demonstrated lift. So the equation really shows how big a human can get. Holden ignores the differences in physiology, especially in skeletal structure, that would allow animals like elephants and sauropods to be better adapted for large size than H. sapiens.

Argos
2002-May-24, 12:37 PM
A Pitagorian revival. The eternal return...
What's next? The music of the spheres?

Prince
2002-May-24, 02:34 PM
Some articles supporting a different dinosaurian physiology due to a different G or c by the Kronia Krew:

http://www.kronia.com/thoth.html

Espritch
2002-May-24, 05:07 PM
Science is founded on a few basic assumptions. For instance, if I put an jar over a candle 100 times and each time the candle goes out, then assuming that the universe is controlled by consistent natural principals, I can fairly safely bet that on the 101 try, I will get exactly the same result. If, however, there exist a supernatural entity capable of arbitraily rewriting the rules of the game at a whim, then all bets are off and on the 101 try, the candle might miraculously continue burning (like the bush in Genesis).

I feel quite certain that I can duplicate the results wherein the candle goes out. I am also fairly confident that you cannot demonstrate the contrary (without resorting to subterfuge), regardless of how hard you pray (or to which Deity).

So we are left with either a God bound by the laws of his own creation, which would suggest he isn't omnipotent and thus not really God, or else he simply chooses not to interfer with the natural laws of his creation, in which case he's pretty much irrelavent to scientific inquiry.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Espritch on 2002-05-24 13:12 ]</font>

Geo3gh
2002-May-24, 09:49 PM
One thing neat about bring Holden into this discussion is the fact that Ted Holden follows Velikovsky, which ties the evolution/sauropod thread to astronomy, however tenuously.

beskeptical
2002-May-24, 11:42 PM
Espritch, I like your description, mind if I quote you?

Espritch
2002-May-25, 05:49 AM
Espritch, I like your description, mind if I quote you?


I don't mind.

informant
2002-May-25, 01:35 PM
Prince wrote:

If Geocentricity could be proven absolutely, it would be a powerful argument in favour of design(...)

Two remarks:

1. The problem is that nothing can be proven "absolutely".
2. If the Bible is right (when taken literally), then Geocentrism, whatever you mean by it, is correct.
However, if geocentrism is correct that doesn't mean that the Bible is right.
This is a basic logical fallacy (I forget the Latin name for it).




(...) but still not enough to convince some diehards!

Wow, I didn't know the satus of "diehard" was so widespread!
I watched the movie too, but I never quite saw myself in Bruce Willis's shoes. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

ktesibios
2002-May-26, 06:50 PM
On 2002-05-25 09:35, informant wrote:
Two remarks:

1. The problem is that nothing can be proven "absolutely".
2. If the Bible is right (when taken literally), then Geocentrism, whatever you mean by it, is correct.
However, if geocentrism is correct that doesn't mean that the Bible is right.
This is a basic logical fallacy (I forget the Latin name for it).



I think it's the error of the affirmed consequent- arguing in the form if A then B; B, therefore A.

The trouble with this argument is that if B can have an antecedent other than A, B being true doesn't prove A.

Being a troubleshooter by trade, I have to work backwards from effect to cause all the time. The only reasoning that works is in the form of if A then B; B, therefore A is possible but not proved; how can I test A directly?

or if A then B AND C, if D then B AND E, if F then B AND G; only B and C are true, therefore D and F are not true; A remains, therefore I should find a way to test A and not waste time on D or F.

IOW, a variation on the affirmed consequent can be a useful way of eliminating antecedents as impossible, but not of proving them true.

Roy Batty
2002-May-26, 07:16 PM
While trying to find the Latin name I came across this logic primer (powerpoint):
http://www.wlu.ca/~wwwphil/campbell/CONDITIONS.PPT
& in not so good html:
www.wlu.ca/~wwwphil/campbell/CONDITIONS.PPT+affirmed+consequent+latin&hl=en&ie=UTF8]google (http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cache:fzCrQsyRKH4C:[url) html[/url]

but i'm sure Jay Utah will step in & correct us if anythings wrong though /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

_________________
N6MAA10816

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Roy Batty on 2002-05-26 15:17 ]</font>

Prince
2002-May-26, 08:22 PM
Modus Ponendo Ponens

http://www.informatik.htw-dresden.de/~logic/conclusions/rule7.html

Modus Tollendo Tollens

http://www.informatik.htw-dresden.de/~logic/conclusions/rule8.html

Roy Batty
2002-May-26, 10:37 PM
Thanks for those links Prince. The most informative ones you've posted yet IMHO.
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

ToSeek
2002-May-31, 04:24 PM
On 2002-05-23 17:26, Geo3gh wrote:

I don't even think that this works for land animals. The equation quoted is from Ted Holden's web page (I can't find the link anymore). What Holden did was work out how large you could make a champion weightlifter so that his weight was equal to his maximum demonstrated lift. So the equation really shows how big a human can get. Holden ignores the differences in physiology, especially in skeletal structure, that would allow animals like elephants and sauropods to be better adapted for large size than H. sapiens.


Humans are also quite weak by animal standards. It's common knowledge among zookeepers that a human being can tighten a bolt as tightly as possible using a wrench, but a chimpanzee, gorilla, or orangutan can undo the bolt with its bare hands.

Silas
2002-May-31, 05:46 PM
On 2002-05-31 12:24, ToSeek wrote:
Humans are also quite weak by animal standards. It's common knowledge among zookeepers that a human being can tighten a bolt as tightly as possible using a wrench, but a chimpanzee, gorilla, or orangutan can undo the bolt with its bare hands.



I must express dubiety... Yes, a chimp is much stronger than even a strong man, in terms of rasslin' and grapplin'. Put a chimp in the ring with the WWF group, and he'd clobber 'em all.

But fingers are fingers, no matter which hominid they belong to, and a wrench gives an awful lot of leverage... I can only pinch maybe twenty pounds worth, but with a wrench, I can bear down with my whole weight upon a system that gives maybe 10:1 leverage advantage.

[KAOS Agent Voice]
I find that rather difficult to believe.
[/KAOS Agent Voice]

Silas

beskeptical
2002-Jun-01, 08:55 AM
Give me a big enough wrench and I guarantee I can tighten my oil pan bolt enough so that no beast could pry it loose without another BIG wrench.

Where do all these strange facts originate?

Kaptain K
2002-Jun-01, 11:51 AM
Give me a big enough wrench, and I can tighten my oilpan bolt enough that it will fall out by itself. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif Can you say "stripped threads". Been there, done that, paid for it.

informant
2002-Jun-01, 02:15 PM
[quote]Prince wrote:
Modus Ponendo Ponens

http://www.informatik.htw-dresden.de/~logic/conclusions/rule7.html

Modus Tollendo Tollens

http://www.informatik.htw-dresden.de/~logic/conclusions/rule8.html</BLOCKQUOTE></FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE>

See also

http://www.informatik.htw-dresden.de/~logic/conclusions/intro.html

nr. 3.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: informant on 2002-06-01 10:16 ]</font>

thkaufm
2002-Jun-01, 04:22 PM
tighten a bolt as tightly as possible using a wrench, but a chimpanzee, gorilla, or orangutan can undo the bolt with its bare hands.

No way. That is just plain wrong. They are strong , but they're still just flesh and bones. Even if the muscle strength were there, the skin would peel off and the bones would break before that bolt ever came loose.

Tom

Silas
2002-Jun-01, 07:26 PM
On 2002-06-01 07:51, Kaptain K wrote:
Give me a big enough wrench, and I can tighten my oilpan bolt enough that it will fall out by itself. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif Can you say "stripped threads". Been there, done that, paid for it.



Huge happy guffaw of sympathetic laughter: me too, brother; me too!

But I still doubt the claim about Orangs.

Silas

beskeptical
2002-Jun-03, 07:59 AM
On 2002-06-01 07:51, Kaptain K wrote:
Give me a big enough wrench, and I can tighten my oilpan bolt enough that it will fall out by itself. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif Can you say "stripped threads". Been there, done that, paid for it.



/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif Some guy who changed my oil overtightened the pan bolt. I thought it was me, but I tried and tried and finally took my car in and had to pay to have the bolt loosened. Then the station guy just got out a BIG wrench to do it. A not too expensive lesson in leverage so it was worth the trip.

ToSeek
2002-Jun-04, 04:18 PM
On 2002-06-01 12:22, thkaufm wrote:

tighten a bolt as tightly as possible using a wrench, but a chimpanzee, gorilla, or orangutan can undo the bolt with its bare hands.

No way. That is just plain wrong. They are strong , but they're still just flesh and bones. Even if the muscle strength were there, the skin would peel off and the bones would break before that bolt ever came loose.



Animal tracks (http://www.discoverycivilization.ca/animaltracks/rethinkingzoos/Gallery.cfm)

See fact #10.

I assume that with a good enough wrench and a good enough bolt, you can defeat an orangutan, but they can still undo bolts by hand that we do with a wrench.

Silas
2002-Jun-04, 06:54 PM
On 2002-06-04 12:18, ToSeek wrote:


On 2002-06-01 12:22, thkaufm wrote:

tighten a bolt as tightly as possible using a wrench, but a chimpanzee, gorilla, or orangutan can undo the bolt with its bare hands.

No way. That is just plain wrong. They are strong , but they're still just flesh and bones. Even if the muscle strength were there, the skin would peel off and the bones would break before that bolt ever came loose.



Animal tracks (http://www.discoverycivilization.ca/animaltracks/rethinkingzoos/Gallery.cfm)

See fact #10.

I assume that with a good enough wrench and a good enough bolt, you can defeat an orangutan, but they can still undo bolts by hand that we do with a wrench.



Whew! I think we can all agree. Orangs *ARE* escape artists! The San Diego Zoo has had numerous escapes. And, yes, Orangs *have* loosened bolts that a human had tightened with a wrench.

All we were quibbling about was, in the OP, the phrase "tighten a bolt as tightly as possible using a wrench..." and the Orang could still undo it.

In logic, there's a difference between...

1) Some bolts can be unfastened by Orangs using their bare hands...

and...

2) All bolts can be unfastened by Orangs using their bare hands.

To the first, I think there is no dispute.

(I have pulled nails, with my bare hands, that had been driven in with a hammer. But I can't do it every time!)

Silas

beskeptical
2002-Jun-05, 08:26 AM
In addition to what Silas had to say, I didn't read anything in that 'fact #10' about any 'wrench tightened' bolt.

I'm also not trying to attack and this isn't astronomy, but when I see what might be a communication error, I think the underlying mistake is important to address. Miscommunication is one of the causes of 'bad everything'.

You might or might not use a wrench on a bolt. It might have come loose over time. I understood the 'animal fact' to be stating that the orangs figured out that unscrewing the bolt COULD open the cage. I didn't interpret it to imply anything about strength.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2002-06-05 04:34 ]</font>

ToSeek
2002-Jun-05, 02:47 PM
On 2002-06-05 04:26, beskeptical wrote:
In addition to what Silas had to say, I didn't read anything in that 'fact #10' about any 'wrench tightened' bolt.

I'm also not trying to attack and this isn't astronomy, but when I see what might be a communication error, I think the underlying mistake is important to address. Miscommunication is one of the causes of 'bad everything'.

You might or might not use a wrench on a bolt. It might have come loose over time. I understood the 'animal fact' to be stating that the orangs figured out that unscrewing the bolt COULD open the cage. I didn't interpret it to imply anything about strength.



Well, unfortunately, I haven't been able to track down the original reference (which came from my wife, the zoologist, anyhow), so I'm kind of at a loss to support my argument. And it's not astronomy,anyway, so I'm just going to leave it.

I agree that I could and should have phrased my claim better.

2002-06-06: (Based on responses, I guess I should also clarify that my wife found the mention of orangutans undoing bolts and read it to me, not that she actually produced it.)

_________________
"... to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." - Tennyson, Ulysses


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ToSeek on 2002-06-06 21:42 ]</font>

Cloudy
2002-Jun-06, 05:04 AM
Back to the original topic:

Yes, if the realtionships between planetary orbits could be described by one equation, it would be evidence for inteligent design.

But it would be no more so than the fact that the relationship between light and magnetism can be described by equations. Or, you could point out that the forces of nature seem to become more "elegent" and more unified the more we know about them.

The fact that the universe is describable according to logical laws is a persuasive(to me) argument for the existance of a builder.
But I don't think your "new discovery" really adds to this argument even were it to be true- it merely posits the discovery of yet another scientific law.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jun-06, 10:18 AM
On 2002-06-05 10:47, ToSeek wrote:
Well, unfortunately, I haven't been able to track down the original reference (which came from my wife, the zoologist, anyhow), so I'm kind of at a loss to support my argument. And it's not astronomy,anyway, so I'm just going to leave it.

I'm just trying to help ToSeek find his wife, but you all ought to check out the write up about Asian small-clawed otters (http://www.aaasouth.com/acs_pages/38921.asp). Maybe they're orangutans in disguise. Clever.

Jovianboy
2002-Jun-06, 10:36 AM
Sorry to be so off-topic here, but I was just looking at that wacky post written by the originator of this thread (s8int).

I must ask: What on Earth is a seightint?

JB

nebularain
2002-Jun-06, 12:18 PM
On 2002-06-06 01:04, Cloudy wrote:
Back to the original topic:


The fact that the universe is describable according to logical laws is a persuasive(to me) argument for the existance of a builder.
But I don't think your "new discovery" really adds to this argument even were it to be true- it merely posits the discovery of yet another scientific law.



So, can we just say that the interpretation of facts is subjective to the "world view" of the interpreter?

Silas
2002-Jun-06, 03:42 PM
On 2002-06-06 08:18, nebularain wrote:
So, can we just say that the interpretation of facts is subjective to the "world view" of the interpreter?


Gotta be careful here... The answer is: sometimes, yeah. And sometimes, no.

Some ideas are just plain wrong. (I used to hang with the Flat Earth Society, just for the joy of collecting logical and factual errors.)

But some ideas transcend "right and wrong" and are subjective. You might like chocolate, while I hate the stuff. That's a matter of preference. You could point out that chocolate is a good source of sugar for quick energy, and that I might benefit from it just before a foot-race. That's objective, and I would be forced to agree.

"Therefore," you might say, "chocolate is good in a moral sense." That's philosophy...

The philosophical issues are subject to a great deal of personal interpretation. But the objective facts -- the "raw data" which we all observe -- aren't.

An astronomy teacher once told me, "Scientists don't believe in their theories. But they do believe in the data."

Silas

nebularain
2002-Jun-06, 04:21 PM
On 2002-06-06 11:42, Silas wrote:


On 2002-06-06 08:18, nebularain wrote:
So, can we just say that the interpretation of facts is subjective to the "world view" of the interpreter?


Gotta be careful here... The answer is: sometimes, yeah. And sometimes, no.

Some ideas are just plain wrong. (I used to hang with the Flat Earth Society, just for the joy of collecting logical and factual errors.)


Silas



/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_eek.gif Umm...I wasn't saying anything about "right /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif or wrong /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif" interpretations, I was talking about interpretations in general. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif I mean, even the "flat earthers" are interpreting the data their own way to fit their own views! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif

beskeptical
2002-Jun-07, 01:20 AM
On 2002-06-06 01:04, Cloudy wrote:
... if the realtionships between planetary orbits could be described by one equation, it would be evidence for inteligent design.
[quote/]

There is no logical argument that the data we have about the Universe and the data we have about life on Earth provides any evidence for 'intelligent design'. You can 'feel' it is there, you can 'believe' it is there, you can refuse to believe it is not there; but there is NO EVIDENCE for your conclusion.

IF humans build machines, human's are intelligent, no machines have been observed that were not built by humans, THEN you have evidence machines were built by intelligent humans.

Just looking at what you have stated, because I could fill pages with other arguments, you say that because there is a mathematical equation that describes a relationship, and because that relationship might be consistent: ('if the realtionships (sic.) between planetary orbits could be described by one equation'), there is evidence there for 'intelligent design'? What evidence?

[quote]
The fact that the universe is describable according to logical laws is a persuasive(to me) argument for the existance of a builder.


I know you qualified your assertion with, '(to me)', but there is no logic here.

There are laws of probability, where is there intelligent design? I can lift heavy objects with leverage, are you saying someone had to plan that? Different liquids have different boiling points, what intelligent reason is mandated for these chemical properties?


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2002-06-06 21:23 ]</font>

Silas
2002-Jun-07, 04:21 AM
Umm...I wasn't saying anything about "right /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif or wrong /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif" interpretations, I was talking about interpretations in general. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif I mean, even the "flat earthers" are interpreting the data their own way to fit their own views! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif



I appear to have interpreted your post wrongly... (Grin!)

But, seriously, what do you want "interpretation" to mean? Right and wrong are the basic criteria.

If you say "Freunde," and I interpret that to mean "A 20th Century pioneer of Psychology," my interpretation is wrong.

Suppose we're both looking at the same data, perhaps a series of numbers. 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36.

I might interpret it as the square of the position of the number in the sequence. You might interpret it as the sum of the odd integers up to the position in the sequence. We're both right; there is no "wrong" in an interpretation that fits the facts.

A third person might interpret the data as the sum of the cubes of the positions of the numbers, minus the squares of the positions. Oops. Wrong. Fails miserably.

Contrast this to subjective interpretations: I hear Beethoven's 5th as a parable of innocence lost; you might hear it as a tale of exploration and growth. Who is right? Who is wrong?

I guess I just don't completely get what you're trying to say...

Silas

nebularain
2002-Jun-07, 11:35 PM
Well, let's see, when I was taking Astronomy 101, my instructor taught us that the entire universe can be mapped out mathematically. Neptune was predicted before it was discovered based on mathematical calculations. That is, its location was calculated out mathematically, and it was discovered by looking by looking for it where it was calculated. Bingo! Correct! My astonomy lab instructor mentioned that there exists a mathematical formula that calculates the distances between the planets in the solar system exactly. According to this equation, there should be a planet located between Mars and Jupitor. But, instead, there is an asteroid belt. It is believed that Jupitor's gravitational pull disrupted the planet's formation, thus the pieces are scattered instead of having coellesced (sp?) like the other planets. Then, in my trigonometry book, it actually gives the formula with the means by which one can graph the orbits of the planets on a scientific calculator. I tried it - it looks pretty cool! The equation is

r = [a(1-e^2)] / [1 + e cos(theta)]

"a" and "e" are specific numbers. For Mercury, a = 0.39 and e = 0.206. For Venus, a = 0.78 and e = 0.007. For Earth, a = 1 and e = 0.017. for Mars, a = 1.52 and e = 0.093. And so on. The mode of the calcualtor needs to be in radians and polar. The window needs to be set to 0 for "min" and 2(pi) for "max" and 0.13089... for "step." The x settings are [-2, 2, 1] and the y settings are [-2, 2, 1]. The "zoom" needs to be set at "square." So, if you has a TI-83, maybe you can try this out. (Let me know if the instructions aren't working out.)

So, anyway, does the ability to use math to calculate the universe or the solar system or anything else prove or support anything? Someone who believes in at least "a supreme being" who created the universe can look at this and say, "Design equals designer!" Someone else not so inclined to believe in a "Creator" can look at this and say, "Wow! Look at this evolutionary process." (Or something else; I'm just throwing out a guess.) If the claculations are true, then it can be reasonably safe to say that those are the facts. What those facts mean, or if they mean anything at all, well that's open to the interpretation of the observer. (Whether or not those interpretations can be supported through experimentation or not, well that's an entirely different matter!) I hope that all makes sense (hmm...no icon for an "exhausted" face).

beskeptical
2002-Jun-08, 01:14 AM
On 2002-06-07 19:35, nebularain wrote:
... does the ability to use math to calculate the universe or the solar system or anything else prove or support anything? Someone who believes in at least "a supreme being" who created the universe can look at this and say, "Design equals designer!" Someone else not so inclined to believe in a "Creator" can look at this and say, "Wow! Look at this evolutionary process." (Or something else; I'm just throwing out a guess.) ... What those facts mean, or if they mean anything at all, well that's open to the interpretation of the observer.


I don't see where a process that conforms to a mathmatical formula equates to design. It is not a matter of interpretation. It is a matter of a false premise. Your first statement above says it. "does {...} prove or support anything?" The answer is NO. If there is a connection between 'design' and a mathmatical description of a relationship, what is it?

I am not interpreting the data to say it indicates an evolutionary process or any other process. I am saying there is NO EVIDENCE for design nor designer. To say there is evidence for a designer because a mathmatical formula is descriptive and consistent is wishful thinking. And, it is BAD SCIENCE.

Silas
2002-Jun-08, 02:13 AM
On 2002-06-07 19:35, nebularain wrote:
Well, let's see, when I was taking Astronomy 101, my instructor taught us that the entire universe can be mapped out mathematically. Neptune was predicted before it was discovered based on mathematical calculations. That is, its location was calculated out mathematically, and it was discovered by looking by looking for it where it was calculated. Bingo! Correct!

Well... Your professor might have phrased it better...

Astronomers watched Uranus for several years, and mapped out its orbit. The trouble was, it didn't stick exactly to that orbit. It deviated, very slightly.

Other astronomers worked out, from those deviations, the general location of an hypothetical other body that *might* have been responsible for these perturbations.

And, as it turned out, bingo, correct.

But there was (and is) no "equation" that tells where Neptune should be. That was *not* how the planet was discovered.

And...if there were, then we could plug in further numbers, and "discover" the tenth, eleventh, twelfth, etc. planets. Why does the equation suddenly fail at nine?

Nature is wonderfully mathematical, and that is one of the deepest riddles for philosophy and theology. Why are there "prime numbers?" Why are there "square numbers?" What is the secret of phi, or e, or pi?

But to look at our solar system, pock-marked with collisions, with hot and cold running gas giants, with volcanoes and oceans, with rings and whorls, you have to understand it's far too chaotic to be explained by any simple equation. That would be as painful as trying to develop an equation that models all trees, or all fish, or all minerals.

Silas

beskeptical
2002-Jun-08, 08:05 PM
I forgot to mention, was pi designed? Someone had a sense of humor there. "Lets see what these turkeys do with a number that never ends." /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif

nebularain
2002-Jun-08, 08:07 PM
Oh, I wish I had Lenier's gift for the martial arts of the mind! (Babylon 5 in case you have no idea what I'm talking about.) The point I was trying to make was that one's "world view" tends to dictate how they interpret the world around them. (I believe some psychologist out there has some theroy that states that in more technological terms /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif ). People of religious persuasion get upset over any statements that deny the existence of God, Athiests tend to get upset over statements that acknowledge the existence of God, Agnostics tend to get upset over statements that try to define God, and on and on. This is what I have experienced, anyway.

I appologize for screwing up my solar system explanation for trying to cut things short. Physics in theory and physics in practice tend to show different results (i.e. an equation for calculating the velocity of a thrown ball doesn't account for air resistance or the influence of wind). Neptune was calculated before it was discovered (seen and i.d.'ed) because the orbit of Uranus appeared to be affected by an unaccounted for gravitational pull (and I hope I am explaining this correctly). I know the whole "equation workings" weren't completely a nice, neat package, but why should they be there at all? Graphing the orbits on the scientific calculator does work, but you would be correct in arguing that it does not account for the variations seen in reality (just like the air resistance and wind velocity on the ball). You might not see an order to it, but I see a form of order, even if there exists variables taht are still unexplained.

I know there's a lot of crack-pot Creationists' thinking out there that taints the true scientific arguments regarding such, and I've been trying to weed out what is "true" versus what is "fanciful."
(Of course, I've encountered a lot of fanciful "scientific arguments" that have nothing to do with Creationism, too, that I've been needing to weed out as well!) So, I guess I ought to thank you guys for keeping me on my toes and keeping me thinking.

Or maybe I should just string-up a noose for myself with a sign that says, "Deanna was here," and save you all the trouble!

beskeptical
2002-Jun-09, 04:45 AM
On 2002-06-08 16:07, nebularain wrote:
The point I was trying to make was that one's "world view" tends to dictate how they interpret the world around them. ... People of religious persuasion get upset over any statements that deny the existence of God, Athiests tend to get upset over statements that acknowledge the existence of God, Agnostics tend to get upset over statements that try to define God, and on and on.

I agree with your point about a person's world view influencing their perceptions. But I take issue with the second half of your statement. You cannot elevate pseudoscience to the level of science by arguing it is just a difference in viewpoints. I ask again, what EVIDENCE is there for intelligent design? Being complex? Being describable by a mathmatical formula?
Being consistent?



I know there's a lot of crack-pot Creationists' thinking out there that taints the true scientific arguments regarding such, and I've been trying to weed out what is "true" versus what is "fanciful."
(Of course, I've encountered a lot of fanciful "scientific arguments" that have nothing to do with Creationism, too, that I've been needing to weed out as well!)


I don't know of anyone in my circle that would claim all science is good science. If you really want to weed out fanciful arguments, try starting with a strong base of knowledge about the science you want to verify or refute.

Any supposedly 'true' scientific arguments that support the standard Creation theory only come from non-geologists and non-biologists. If you have a background in geology, you would know that the age of the Earth is established beyond doubt to be billions and not thousands of years old. If you still think life 'adapts' but does not evolve, then you do not have a complete understanding of biology.

Without a thorough understanding of the science behind the conclusions, it is foolish to assume you 'know' the conclusions are wrong.

For one to say there is EVIDENCE for 'intelligent design' you have to forego the scientific process, because complexity, mathmatical describability, consistency, and the like, are not exclusively explainable by 'intelligent design'. Since those characteristics can occur with and without intelligent design, they cannot be evidence for it.

nebularain
2002-Jun-09, 11:37 PM
Thanks, "beskeptical" for your insights. It's given me some thoughts to chew on.

For what it's worth, I don't accept the "standard Creationist theory" anymore, and I cringe every time I hear the "young Earth" model being argued now. I had taken a class several years ago on Comparative Study of Origins. We looked at how scientist come up with knowledge, how they interpret the knowledge, and then looked from the far reaches of the universe down to Earth one by one at the different knowledges (discovries, observetions, etc.) that have been obtained, and finally some of the interpretations that have been made for each point, besides the most commonly accepted one. It became clearer and clearer that neither extremes of the Creation vs. Evolution debate (the only ones we seem to hear about) could be correct. From this and other points brought out in other classes, I had begun to take a new look at Genesis 1 - not as a 20th century Western scientific account of the creation story but as an ancient culture's poetic account of the creation story (you can see that if you've had a lesson on ancient poetry). I can also see that the whole account makes more sense looking at it as an account of the "recreation" of the surface of the Earth after it had been through global disaster. For instance, notice how it says that "the Earth was formless and void, darkness was over the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters" before the "first day," and that light was spoken into being before the sun and moon were spoken of - on the third - and that there is no mention of the formation of the land structures such as mountains and valleys. So, I'm OK with the the universe being billions of years old and the Earth being five million years old and even the idea that God played around with the creation process the way an artist or engineer might play around with designs and structures and such (lol). It makes universe-watching and investigating, and reading about how the scientific community is trying to make sense of the whole picture, much more interesting.

Now, just where did mathematics and the laws of physics come from anyway? (Just playing with ya there! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif )

Kaptain K
2002-Jun-10, 06:46 PM
Now, just where did mathematics and the laws of physics come from anyway? (Just playing with ya there!)
Actually, this is one of the most important questions in cosmology. Sir Martin Rees (Royal Astronomer) has a book "Six Little Numbers" that explains just how fine-tuned the physical constants are to allow us to exist to observe the universe. One can say "God made it that way" or one can say that "if it wasn't that way we wouldn't be here to talk about it."

beskeptical
2002-Jun-10, 07:04 PM
On 2002-06-09 19:37, nebularain wrote:
I had taken a class several years ago on Comparative Study of Origins. We looked at how scientist come up with knowledge, how they interpret the knowledge, and then looked from the far reaches of the universe down to Earth one by one at the different knowledges (discovries, observetions, etc.) that have been obtained, and finally some of the interpretations that have been made for each point, besides the most commonly accepted one. It became clearer and clearer that neither extremes of the Creation vs. Evolution debate (the only ones we seem to hear about) could be.

So, I'm OK with ... the Earth being five million years old ...


The Earth is more than 4.5 BILLION years old, maybe that is what you meant to say.

I have to assume your 'Comparative Study of Origins' class was through a religious organization. I am glad to hear the 'young Earth' rationalizations have not swayed you. The arguments I have heard either were outright fraud (wonderful for religious ethics) or complete ignorance of the facts.

Every educational curriculum from grade school on up should be including a course on how to evaluate data and research. Competing explanations for data should always be addressed.

As far as the course you site explaining why evolution is a matter of interpretation, I would suggest they might have left out a few facts as well. I realize +/- half of the posters to this BB have a cow when someone says evolution is no longer a theory, but it is no longer a theory.

The two most rationale arguments against evolution seem to be 'gaps in the fossil record' and 'adaptation but not evolution'.

DNA and gene research have filled in ALL the gaps, sorry folks but it is so.

And adaptation is evolution. I have not heard any response to those who doubt me /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif that can tell me where they think adaptation stops. If you can breed a poodle from a wolf, when are the two going to be considered different species? If one argues 'yah but they're still canines', that person is ignoring the fossil and DNA evidence.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2002-06-10 15:06 ]</font>

Prince
2002-Jun-10, 07:52 PM
After breeding over one million fruit flies, they still obstinately remain fruit flies!
There is a wide variety of dog BREEDS but they are still dogs. Species bred
beyond limits develop serious deformities. Darwin bred pigeons and knew this fact
but in his "Origins of Species" he glossed over what is an impassable barrier to
the "evolution" of one species from another.

Silas
2002-Jun-10, 08:00 PM
On 2002-06-10 15:52, Prince wrote:
After breeding over one million fruit flies, they still obstinately remain fruit flies!
There is a wide variety of dog BREEDS but they are still dogs. Species bred
beyond limits develop serious deformities. Darwin bred pigeons and knew this fact
but in his "Origins of Species" he glossed over what is an impassable barrier to
the "evolution" of one species from another.



"serious deformities" like the Panda's Thumb, the Rhinoceros's horn, the Giraffe's neck?

If the barrier is "impassable," why do we see such overwhelming evidence that it has, in fact, been passed?

And why do you persist in comparing the mere 5,000 years of observed human activity to the hundreds of millions of years over which large-scale evolutionary change occurs?

By the way: do you think that today's fruit flies could successfully breed with their ancestors of 5,000 generations ago?

Are fruit flies and houseflies and blowflies and horseflies "breeds" or species? Do you have a working definition for the two terms? Why is a coyote a separate species than a wolf, but a cocker spaniel isn't a separate species than a doberman?

Darwin didn't "gloss over" anything...

(I'm not actually posting this rebuttal to cause you to change your mind: I'm just dutifully "showing the flag.")

Silas

DaveC
2002-Jun-10, 08:51 PM
If we are to have a "sirius" discussion (that just to keep this on an astronomical bent) about dogs and evolution, one needs to understand the difference between selective breeding (that created chihuahuas from wolves) and the physical barriers that now prevent chihuahuas from breeding with wolves. While it's true that the past few hundred years of selective breeding of dogs hasn't created any new species, the gene pools of some dog breeds and their wolf ancestors will continue to diverge until inevitably they have ceased to be able to interbreed at all for biological reasons.
In our somewhat arbitrary classification system, that will make them different species.
This is the old micro/macro evolution debate.
Maybe a toy poodle could never evolve into a bird or a reptile, but it seems pretty clear that it equally will never evolve into a wolf either. In the absence of human intervention in the breeding of dogs, one can speculate that many breeds would become extinct and those that survived and interbred would probably end up like the dingo or the African wild dog - a brown mutt with no distinguishing features.

Some of you may want to pick this discussion up on the Apollohoax board's evolution forum which has been a bit dormant lately. The BA ain't gonna put up with this OT stuff for much longer. Try here:
http://www.apollohoax.com/forums/viewforum.php?forum=17&1716

beskeptical
2002-Jun-10, 09:54 PM
If one argues 'yah but they're still canines', that person is ignoring the fossil and DNA evidence.

It is a tree folks, not a single line. A turtle may not be on track to change into a dog, but they originated from an organism in the past that was the same.

You can put your heads in the sand and say it isn't true, or you can move on. The Earth is round, it orbits the Sun, religious people in the past got over it. Evolution is a fact. Get over it. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

nebularain
2002-Jun-11, 02:32 AM
First, a comment:
The earliest indications for human understanding of a round, or spherical, Earth come from the ancient Greeks. They could observe a ship disappearing over the horizon from the bottom up as would be expected for it going around a sphere. They could recognize the Earth’s shadow on the moon for what it was and see that it had a round shape to it. They could tell that the stars differed in their locations as one travels a significant difference from North to South. The idea that Columbus was out to prove that the Earth was round is a misnomer. Educated people knew the Earth was round. The question was how far around it is. Columbus used Ptolomy’s calculation of the Earth’s circumference, incorrectly calculating it to be smaller than it actually is, to argue a westward shortcut to China and India.

I believe our understanding of history is getting a little mixed. The Church's big error was to regard Aristotle's word as God's word (geocentrism was his baby, not the Bible's). I am still trying to figure out how Aristotle's philosophy was considered on par with the Scriptures when Aristotle didn't even follow the God of the Bible! If they had left well enough alone, would we have to be regarding science and religion as opposing entities anyway. But now we're in this mess trying to sort out the pieces. So, here I go again. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif

I would say, BeSkeptical, that you did a fair job at answering my last set of questions (a fair argument and presentation, given the circumstances). But I still have many questions. I apologize for the length:
I know the concept of microevolution, that is slight variations in a species to adapt to changing environmental conditions, has been observed, and I believe it is safe to say proven, but has macroevolution ever actually been observed anywhere or is it just being ***-u-me-d? For instance, it is popular now to believe that birds descended from dinosaurs. Similarities between the two are pointed out as evidence. But I wonder about the differences. How many random genetic changes does it take to go from a scale to a feather, and why would all those changes occur? Until the feather actually evolved, of what use would the pre-evolved scale-to-feather have? How about the evolution of the wing for that matter? What would a forelimb-evolving-into-a-wing look like on a creature, and why is that not seen in the fossil record? With the large time frame given for the transition, one would think at least one good example could be found. Also, would these evolutionary transitioning-staged limbs have a useful function for the creature? Would it be a useful limb at all? Again, why would these changes occur in the first place? For the evolution to occur because of a need, would not the time it takes for the complete transformation to occur negate the need or negate the creature? And what guided this transition anyway? (If it wasn’t being “guided,” what was keeping it on the right track? Could coincidences be that lucky?) Are you saying it is probable that a randomly mutated gene successfully passed down to connect with a later randomly mutated gene to successfully connect with another or later randomly mutated gene and so on to eventually go from a perfectly formed and useful forelimb to a likewise perfectly formed and useful wing? Did the forelimb-to-wing transition take place at the same time as the scale-to-feather transition take place? What is the probability that such separate but synchronous random processes would or could occur? Also add to the mix how different a bird’s legs look from a dinosaurs. Also, a bird’s internal anatomy and physiology are especially designed/evolved to make it an efficient “flying machine,” so changes there needed to have occurred. Can or would random mutations manage to pull off such perfect complexity? And again, would the dinosaur-to-bird transitionary creatures be able to function with the changes before becoming complete? One would think that at some point it would become inefficient as a land-dwelling animallong before it became efficient as a flying animal. Could these creatures likely survive to keep reproducing to eventually have another young with the just right mutation to pass on to more young to continue the process? I just cannot picture the feasibility of this transformitory process making it through. If you are going to argue the evolutionary process, these step-by-step transitions really do need to be distinctly answered by someone, someway, somehow.

I mean, the fossil record shows the "beginning products" and the "end products" but no in-between products. If these evolutionary changes are occuring, why is there an "end product?" Wouldn't it just keepon going? Or is there a "stop here" mutation gene coded into the sequence, on its own, somehow, to produce for this much longer stretch of time of what appears to be a "finished product organism"? If the fossil record were compared to successive generations of people, it would be compatible with the record somehow eliminating the childhood and adolescent years of everyone! Now, how would it do that for every single species, plant and animal, on the planet? If a mutation would not allow an organisms decendants to survive long enough in "fossil history" to be recorded, how could it have even survived long enough to carry on an organism that would eventually develop another mutation that continued the changing sequence and traqnsfer that mutation to enough descendents to carry on the process?

Would an organism evolve a circulatory system before there was a need? If so, why, or at least is this seen in the fossil record? If not, could an organism that needs a circulatory system but does not have one survive without it? And which evolved first: blood cells to carry the oxygen and/or nutrients and wastes, the vessels to carry the blood cells around the body, or the heart to pump the blood? Of course, this includes a structure, such as gills, to intake the oxygen into the body to the blood and other structures that deals with nutrient intake and/or waste removal. Would one evolve without the other? If not, then I wonder how could they have actually evolve together if evolution is about random mutations? Would a one gene mismatch mutation start a new organ without harming or disrupting the organism? What kind of random mutations turn into organ formation anyway? Would it start as a mass of useless cells, or what? If they were useful cells, would one mutation really produce that? Is there evidence for this? Why and how would random mutations in later generations perfectly continue to form this organ to a useful new structure anyway?


(This next set of questions are summarised or exact quotes I borrowed from another web page I mention here as reference solely to avoid plagiarism - http://www.creationscience.com. If you respond to my post, please respond to what I am presenting, not what the web site is presenting.)

Do we see anywhere a strictly natural process that creates information? Is there evidence that information, such as that in DNA, could assemble itself? If so, what is it?

“What about the 4,000 books of coded information that are in a tiny part of each of your 100 trillion cells? If astronomers received an intelligent signal from some distant galaxy, most people would conclude that it came from an intelligent source. Why then doesn’t the vast information sequence in the DNA molecule of just a bacteria also im this post! ply an intelligent source?” [I threw this in for to include something astronomy related into into this /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif .]

“Which came first, DNA or the proteins needed by DNA, which can only be produced by DNA?” (Please don’t write this question off as inconclusive evidence, because it is a fair question.)

On the philosophical side of things (back to my own questions):

How or why did the need to explain things come from or evolve? Why would the people who were intelligent enough to figure out how to make their own fire, survive extreme temperatures without heat or air conditioning, or take the seeds of a wheat plant and transform them and mix them with other ingredients in such a way as to make bread need to look to a God or many gods for their answers if there were no basis for such? (I added this because I have noticed opponents to throw in comments about humans inventing the concept of "God" and the like.)

So, how much of the presentations on this thread are really about defending evolution or creationism rather than about defending athiesm or theism? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif (Hey, we’re humans; gotta take things like that into consideration.)

Finally, do you think the BA is getting annoyed by these posts or is he sitting back in his chair laughing at us and is amused by our continually going around in these no-one-is-ever-going-to-successfully-manage-to-convince-the-other loops? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_mad.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif

I shut-up now. Back to homework.

_________________
o/ Nebulas & Rain
[i]“I haven't been droppin' no eaves, sir, honest.”

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: nebularain on 2002-06-10 23:25 ]</font>

Silas
2002-Jun-11, 04:52 AM
On 2002-06-10 22:32, nebularain wrote:
. . . Would an organism evolve a circulatory system before there was a need? If so, why, or at least is this seen in the fossil record? If not, could an organism that needs a circulatory system but does not have one survive without it?. . .


This is a reasonable argument. But where it fails is in the notion of *partial* systems.

There are (currently living) invertebrates that have an amusingly partially-developed circulatory system, in which the blood rushes from one end of the critter to the other. (One scientist of my acquaintance described it as similar to the Marx Brothers.)

This is a living creature that demonstrates the intermediate step between mere diffusion of blood cells and a fully developed circulatory system.

It shows the way. It demonstrates that intermediate improvements are a viable means of evolution by "descent with modification."

A fully-developed circulatory system doesn't have to appear all at once. It can develop incrementally.

And that is, at least, the classical Darwinian rebuttal to your argument.

I will not say that it is conclusive; the debate will continue for decades to come. But I wanted you to know that there is a response -- "Knight to King's Rook Six" -- to your own move.

(Which is to say, the debate has become remarkably formalized...)

Silas

Prince
2002-Jun-11, 06:58 AM
The oldest rocks (Pre-Cambrian) have been searched for many years but no
undisputed fossils have been found. The Cambrian rocks immediately above,
however, contain numerous fully developed complex invertebrates. This sudden
appearance of life in the strata has been a major problem for the evolutionists
Minute objects found in Precambrian
strata are claimed to be primordial
cells. Even if they are there is an
enormous gap between such
microscopic objects and the complex
invertebrates such as the trilobites
which suddenly appear perfectly
formed in the Cambrian strata above.
Despite searching the strata for
over 100 years, fossils which would
close the gaps between classes and
even species have NOT been found,
as many evolutionists are now
prepared to admit. In proposing their
new theory of "punctuated
equilibrium", Drs. Gould (RIP) and Eldredge
accept that these gaps still exist.

When challenged to produce a series of fossils demonstrating the transition of one
species into another, the 4-3-1 toe evolution of the horse is frequently presented
as evidence. However,over twenty different geneological 'trees' have been drawn up by variousscientists. This is because there are 250 similar looking animals to chose from.
Those which contradict the series are ignored.
All the known species of
birds and mammals appear
and 'diversify' within the
last 150 Million years
according to the
evolutionists geological
time scale. At this rate, the
70 million years it has taken
simply to modify a horse's
hoof is far too large a
proportion of the time since
mammals first appeared.
There is therefore
something seriously wrong
with the time scale.
Some animals used in
the sequence have differing
numbers of ribs and lumbar
vertebrae, indicating that
various species have been used to compile the series, but this is ignored as this
contradicts the theory. Most of these fossil animals have been found in America.
Yet the first fossils of modern horses they are supposed to lead up to are found in
Europe. (Present American horses are a recent introduction). Prof. George Gaylord Simpson said "It never happened in nature" and Charles Deperet called it "a deceitful illusion!".

Silas
2002-Jun-11, 04:15 PM
On 2002-06-11 02:58, Prince wrote:
Most of these fossil animals have been found in America.
Yet the first fossils of modern horses they are supposed to lead up to are found in
Europe. (Present American horses are a recent introduction). Prof. George Gaylord Simpson said "It never happened in nature" and Charles Deperet called it "a deceitful illusion!".


Huxley came to America with the theory that horses had originated in Europe. When he was here, he was shown the superior collection of data, and revised his opinion. He was convinced -- by the data -- that horses had originated in America, and migrated several times to Europe.

The point is that we judge by the data, and not by our preconceived notions.

You are presenting some wonderful half-truths, but your arguments are deceitful for being incomplete.

Cambrian fossils do not "spring into existence fully formed." There is a discontinuity at the Cambrian barrier, likely due to very large geological disturbances.

Animals evolve at different rates. Rabbits, for instance, appear pretty much the same as they did 10 million years ago. The eyeball hasn't changed much in 100 million years. There is no contradiction at all in the time scales you cite.

By the way: intermediate forms: they've found more "walking whales." (Why do whales have hip-bones anyway? That's something that evolution explains easily, but creation cannot even begin to address.)

Hey, let's drop it, okay? This game of chess doesn't belong here. We can keep on exchanging junior-high-school science forever, and neither of us is going to change his mind. The Bad Astronomer has been tolerant so far, but let's not push our luck.

Silas

beskeptical
2002-Jun-11, 06:27 PM
On 2002-06-10 22:32, nebularain wrote:
"Educated people knew the Earth was round."

So what was it the Catholic Church put Galileo on trial for? Education about geology and biology will convince most people evolution is no longer a theory.

"How many random genetic changes does it take to go from a scale to a feather"

I'm guessing trillions, maybe more depending on how many genes are involved. The vast majority of random mutations are unsuccessful and are not reproduced. The actual amino acid differences may or may not be huge. Genes are divided up. Where a scale goes (covering), how it forms (embryo), what it does (protects the inside), what structures are within (like oil glands), and what it looks like (camouflage or attract a mate or both) are just a few examples of things that would be controlled by separate genes.

"why would all those changes occur?"

selection forces: environment, disease, mates preferences, and random changes that don't impede reproduction

"Until the feather actually evolved, of what use would the pre-evolved scale-to-feather have? [etc., etc.} .. "

There are a complete array of scales to hydes to skin around today. I'm not sure if scales evolved into skin, or hair and feathers. I would direct you to take one feature and do some research into all the types of that feature you can find, (too much biology for an astronomy BB). Look for a category, like body coverings, not one thing in the category like feathers.

"why is that not seen in the fossil record"

It is. Parts of organisms that are preserved in fossilization show almost every transition. Soft parts are found less often.

"would the dinosaur-to-bird transitionary creatures be able to function with the changes before becoming complete"

Yes. The problem understanding the process here is threefold. Hopefully, it will address most of your issues.

One is conceptualizing the transitions. Take an eye for example. There are all varieties of eyes from single photon receptors to mammal eyes to compound insect eyes. You have to look at the function, not just the completed organ to find the transitions.

The second is understanding how the digital code in the genes is laid out. There are separate pieces of data. If you make a very small change, you can get a very big functional result. Six fingers is a good example. It is caused by a random change and can usually be traced back to the first person in a family where the mutation occurred. The only change that has to occur is in the number of digits. All the rest of the structure of a finger is encoded in separate genes.

The third issue is how (mechanism not cause)mutations occur. The more mutations, and, the more frequent & number of offspring, the more successful the organism is in adapting to changes in the organisms' biosphere. Thus, sexual reproduction with constant reshuffling of genes along with random mutations occurs in almost all lifeforms larger than single cells. Whole genes can be introduced by viruses. One amino acid substitution might turn a gene on or off. (Again, too much biology here for this BB but maybe it will give you some insights as to where to look to understand the process.)

"If a mutation would not allow an organisms decendants to survive long enough in "fossil history" to be recorded, how could it have even survived long enough to carry on"

Life evolves at different speeds. Major extinctions narrow the genetic line which starts again with a smaller number of individuals. Animals migrate and become isolated from other groups. Food sources come and go leading to lots of variation. The process is well understood. Four billion years is plenty of time. The data is consistent.

It really didn't take long to get from wild dogs, cats, birds, plants, horses, cattle, pigs to the current huge number of domestic variations you see today. Breeders and genetic engineers did not purposefully start the process. Humans selected better grain and fruit crops and increased those plants' reproduction success. Gentler canines and felines were more successful begging for food from humans than their more aggressive hunting counterparts. The hunter canines and felines are still there, but many are becoming extinct. Life is evolving constantly all around you if you look.

"which evolved first: blood cells to carry the oxygen and/or nutrients and wastes, the vessels to carry the blood cells around the body, or the heart to pump the blood... Would a one gene mismatch mutation start a new organ without harming or disrupting the organism?...Would it start as a mass of useless cells, or what?"

You have to know where to look. Your lungs did not evolve from gills in one fell swope. Look at process to find the transitions. Oxygen metabolism, neuro perception, protection from environment; you will find all the transitions exist today.

"Is there evidence that information, such as that in DNA, could assemble itself?"

Yes.

"If astronomers received an intelligent signal from some distant galaxy, most people would conclude that it came from an intelligent source. Why then [doesn't] the vast information sequence in the DNA molecule ... imply an intelligent source?”

The 'intelligent signal' would have to have some characteristics that were inconsistent with natural observations. DNA is consistent with random natural processes. Again, the whole process can be at least grossly mapped out step by step including mechanisms for beginning, for change and the time frame for random change to account for the end results.

“Which came first, DNA or the proteins needed by DNA, which can only be produced by DNA?"

The elements needed to form the first RNA structures can be found in rocks older than the first fossil lifeforms. (Too much biology for astronomy BB, but the process has been thoroughly dealt with in microbiology sciences.) A DNA strand by itself divides down the middle, chemical attraction attaches the correct amino acids to each half to make copies of the chain. RNA seems to be a more likely candidate for the first copiers.

"How or why did the need to explain things come from or evolve?"

Successful traits are not necessarily single function traits. Intelligence is clearly a very successful trait. Intelligence requires learning. Learning requires inquirey. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif Social evolution also occurs and accounts for religion but I cannot start that thread here or I will definitely be out of order.

"So, how much of the presentations on this thread are really about defending evolution or creationism rather than about defending athiesm or theism? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif (Hey, we’re humans; gotta take things like that into consideration.)"

I see religion as separate from science. A lot of people try to find scientific evidence to support their religious beliefs. In science, you have to look at the evidence, think of the possible explanations for the evidence, figure out how to test the explanations to see if they are correct or not and so on. If you start with a conclusion you get tunnel vision.

"do you think the BA is getting annoyed by these posts or is he sitting back in his chair laughing at us and is amused by our continually going around in these no-one-is-ever-going-to-successfully-manage-to-convince-the-other loops? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_mad.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif"

I believe he stated creation vs evolution was ok if we tried to stick to the creation of the Universe, the possibilities for life on other planets, etc. I know I touched on a bit too much biology here, but it does apply to the potential for life on other planets. I know there are some locked posts on this topic in the record. I'll leave it up to the BA to lock up whatever threads need to be and I shall accept my fate as it happens. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2002-06-11 14:32 ]</font>

beskeptical
2002-Jun-11, 06:39 PM
On 2002-06-11 00:52, Silas wrote:
There are (currently living) invertebrates that have an amusingly partially-developed circulatory system, in which the blood rushes from one end of the critter to the other. (One scientist of my acquaintance described it as similar to the Marx Brothers.)

That is funny. I find that creature much more interesting than the ice worms. Do the little guys squeeze themselves up and down or do they try to find hills to go over? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif

beskeptical
2002-Jun-11, 06:44 PM
On 2002-06-11 02:58, Prince wrote:
The oldest rocks (Pre-Cambrian) have been searched for many years but no undisputed fossils have been found. The Cambrian rocks immediately above, however, contain numerous fully developed complex invertebrates. This sudden appearance of life in the strata has been a major problem for the evolutionists...

Prince, I can't address all your issues except to say they are very dated. Transitional organisms are alive today. See my reply to Neb and Silas has described some very good examples.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2002-06-11 14:46 ]</font>

Prince
2002-Jun-11, 06:54 PM
Evolutionists are unable to explain how the whale, which is a mammal, went back
into the sea without leaving any fossil evidence of intermediate forms.
The National Geographic Magazine has always promoted evolution. In the November 2001 issue they gave a picture of a land animal -
Ambulocetus - said to be a stage in the evolution of the whale - but their artist
falsified webs between its claws to make it look as if it were adapting to living in the
sea. The rear legs were also positioned as though they were developing into fins.
The article said the digits ended in small hooves, but later described it "lying
submerged like a shaggy crocodile then leaping forth to snatch passing prey".
This would be a little difficult with hooves! The drawing seems to show claws. It is obviously a perfectly normal land animal that has been pressed into use as an
intermediary between mammals and whales. Evolutionists are truly desperate
about the absence of this link.

DaveC
2002-Jun-11, 09:02 PM
On 2002-06-11 14:54, Prince wrote:
Evolutionists are unable to explain how the whale, which is a mammal, went back
into the sea without leaving any fossil evidence of intermediate forms.
The National Geographic Magazine has always promoted evolution. In the November 2001 issue they gave a picture of a land animal -
Ambulocetus - said to be a stage in the evolution of the whale - but their artist
falsified webs between its claws to make it look as if it were adapting to living in the
sea. The rear legs were also positioned as though they were developing into fins.
The article said the digits ended in small hooves, but later described it "lying
submerged like a shaggy crocodile then leaping forth to snatch passing prey".
This would be a little difficult with hooves! The drawing seems to show claws. It is obviously a perfectly normal land animal that has been pressed into use as an
intermediary between mammals and whales. Evolutionists are truly desperate
about the absence of this link.



Small point, but whales ARE mammals. I assume you meant to say "land mammals".

There are lots of intermediates. The problem is creationists expect the fossil record to deliver up an unbroken chain of evolutionary change before they'll acknowledge evolution as a mechanism of species diversification. Every intermediate found creates two more gaps - one on either side, onto which the creationists leap with glee.

You need to start with the principle that every living creature on earth, and every one we've found through the fossil record, is an intermediate. Evolution is a smooth transition from less adapted to more adapted species, with probably far more dead ends than successes. Whales, despite your suggestion to the contrary, provide one of the best fossil record of any species, partly because their large bones had a better chance to survive until fossilization, and partly because they lived in an environment where fossils were more likely to be formed. I wouldn't make too much of an artists rendering. Your position sounds a bit like the Apollo HBs argument that an artist showed flame from the LM ascent engine so the film of the ascent (wherein there is no flame) must be fake.
The evolutionary development of the whale's skeleton is dramatically demonstrated. You may question the conclusion that the ambulocetus (walking whale) successors headed back to the sea, but please don't do it based on whether an artist showed webbed or hoofed feet.
The fact remains that whales have vestigial hind leg bones and commonly display atavism where the legs actually protrude from the body. Only an evolutionary origin for modern whales would explain that.

SeanF
2002-Jun-11, 09:32 PM
On 2002-06-11 17:02, DaveC wrote:

Only an evolutionary origin for modern whales would explain that.


Careful, now. Never say "never," and never say "only" . . . /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

(A deity-created whale could certainly feature those characteristics if said deity so desired)

Silas
2002-Jun-11, 09:39 PM
On 2002-06-11 14:54, Prince wrote:
Evolutionists are unable to explain how the whale, which is a mammal, went back
into the sea without leaving any fossil evidence of intermediate forms.


What's to explain? Within the last 300 years, the California Sea Otter went from a creature that lived on the shore and in the sea to being a sea-creature only. This is because of massive over-trapping and hunting. Only those otters who could stay at sea lived.

We don't have to "explain" it. We've SEEN it.



The National Geographic Magazine has always promoted evolution.


Yes. Interesting, isn't it? A group dedicated to truth, exploration, discovery, photography, evidence, and documentation. You could learn a lot from them.



In the November 2001 issue they gave a picture of a land animal -
Ambulocetus - said to be a stage in the evolution of the whale - but their artist
falsified webs between its claws to make it look as if it were adapting to living in the
sea.


National Geographic has always been very forthright about labelling as "Artist's Conception" such pictures. The use of a painting to complete a picture of an ancient animal is traditional.

Or do you think that every painting that anyone has ever done of a dinosaur is a "falsification?"

(You might want to be careful here; this could open you up to an attack in a completely different area.)



The rear legs were also positioned as though they were developing into fins.
The article said the digits ended in small hooves, but later described it "lying
submerged like a shaggy crocodile then leaping forth to snatch passing prey".
This would be a little difficult with hooves! The drawing seems to show claws. It is obviously a perfectly normal land animal that has been pressed into use as an
intermediary between mammals and whales.


The phrase "pressed into evidence" implies a lack of good faith.

The intermediate form is, in fact, a perfectly normal land animal that had moved into an aquatic habitat. Again, this happened within very recently recorded history to the Sea Otter.

What about the Hippo? Here is a land animal that leads a semi-aquatic life. It might be an "intermediate form."



Evolutionists are truly desperate
about the absence of this link.

And this phrase is also insulting. None of us really minds too much if you say that evolution is wrong, but when you start to accuse it (and, by extension, us) of deliberate falsehood, you enter into a rhetorical realm that our host, for one, has shown little patience for.

Any group of third graders can get together and yell, "Liar, liar, pants on fire" at each other. This forum demands more of us.

Silas

Wiley
2002-Jun-11, 10:48 PM
N. Rain,

I wanted to make some additional comments to what BeSkeptical and Silas wrote. First, let me recommend a book, Ernest Mayr, "What Evolution Is". This is not a creationism v. evolution book, but rather exactly what the title suggests. The "theory of evolution" actually comprises several different theories, e.g., natural selection and common descent. Mayr explains each of these and why scientists believe it. If you're serious in your desire to understand evolution, then read this book. The questions you ask, he answers. (You seem like you do wish to understand; just very few people who question evolution really have a desire to understand it.)

Also many your questions about complex systems harken back Behe (actually well before him, but he's just the latest person to raise this argument) and was answered in 1939 by Hermann Muller (1946 Nobel Laureate - not to be confused with Paul Hermann Muller, 1948 Nobel Laureate who invented DDT). These questions are answered at Talk Origins Behe Faq (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe.html)



I am still trying to figure out how Aristotle's philosophy was considered on par with the Scriptures when Aristotle didn't even follow the God of the Bible!

I never understood that either. He was wrong about so many things. But the irony is that he gave us the scientific method so if we followed him, we would prove him wrong.



And what guided this transition anyway?


Lately I've been working with evolutionary computation. In evolutionary computation we use the ideas genetics, natural selection, and random mutation to find the (near) optimum solution to large complex problems. If take a set of solutions, we keep the better solutions (natural selection), we breed them to create a new set of possible solutions (genetics) and then randomly perturb these possible solutions (mutation). We see how good each of these solutions are and repeat the process. It turns out this is most efficient algorithm we know of for solving very large scale optimization problems (assuming the gradient is not available, which is always the case for practical problems).

Richard Dawkins in his book, "The Blind Watchmaker", makes this point with sentence

METHINK IT IS LIKE A WEASEL

If we were to select 22 letters at random, the chance of getting sentence is about 7x10^(-32). Use the following procedure:
1.) generate 10 sentences of 22 randomly chosen letters
2.) select the sentence that has the most correct letters
3.) duplicate this best sentence ten times
4.) for each duplicate, randomly replace a few letters
5.) repeat 2.) to 4.) until the target sentence is reached
It usually takes less than 900 iterations to match the sentence, less than 9000 total sentences. About 28 orders of magnitude less than predicted by random chance. The point is that natural selection and random mutation is a very efficient means of finding optimum solutions.

This leads to your question, in the parlance of the previous paragraph: Who decides on the sentence? The answer is simple, the environment. And the environment changes, what the optimum solution for one era will not be the optimum solution for the next.

Consider a lush savanah in Africa with lots of trees for our partially arboreal Australopithecine ancestors could use for safety. Now the target sentence changes, a long drought and the safety trees die. The Australopithecine allospecies is now defenseless, is no longer the optimum solution for a drier open plains. We either get 1.)faster like the eland, or 2.)develop defense, sharp horns, or 3.)get smarter and learn to use language and tools to defend ourselves. Considering our ancestors 3.) was the only viable option.

Lastly, when the target sentence changes, this is how complex systems develops. To find your new optimal solution, you must start with your old solution; this is how Behe's irreducibly complex systems (sic) evolve. This is what Muller showed back in the 30's.

Hopefully this adds to what BeSkeptical and Silas have already written.

Ta,

<font size=-1>Edited to correct grammer</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Wiley on 2002-06-11 19:25 ]</font>

nebularain
2002-Jun-12, 03:50 AM
On 2002-06-11 00:52, Silas wrote:
"Knight to King's Rook Six" -- to your own move.

(Which is to say, the debate has become remarkably formalized...)

Silas



Oh, great! My last two paragraphs were my way of trying to wiggle out of this debate. I knew if I entered this debate it was going to go this way, but I still managed to stick my big 'ol foot in my mouth and get lost inside. Neither side is going to sway the other. My belief in God comes out of experiences in my personal like, and some scientific argument saying, "God can't be proven," isn't going to change that. Besides is it scientific to disregard something when it cannot be disproven? OH, I want to say more, but I really have a big project to work on for my class.

No, I will say these two things: looking at the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages, I can't argue in their favor, for I disagree with a lot they did, including how they handled leading what was supposed to be Christianity. I cringe at a lot of things the Church leaders did in the name of God, including what they did to Galileo.

Second, if, as I was taught in oceanography, whales decended from land mammals who returned to the sea, I wonder if I found a way to live in the water and taught my children to do so as well, how many generations would it take for my decendents to turn into sea creatures?

Sigh. I'm getting myself into trouble again. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_eek.gif

Hmm...the stars sure are pretty tonight, aren't they? How does that quote go, "I've never really noticed them before...."

David Hall
2002-Jun-12, 05:42 AM
On 2002-06-11 02:58, Prince wrote:

All the known species of
birds and mammals appear
and 'diversify' within the
last 150 Million years
according to the
evolutionists geological
time scale. At this rate, the
70 million years it has taken
simply to modify a horse's
hoof is far too large a
proportion of the time since
mammals first appeared.
There is therefore
something seriously wrong
with the time scale.


Here's one that just seems wrong. How can it have taken 70 million years for horse hooves to evolve when horses haven't been around for that long? 70 million years ago was in the late Cretaceous. If there were any equestrians living then, they would have been Tyrannofodder.

According to the talkorigins link, http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/horses/horse_evol.html, the first horse ancestors were actually dog-like animals living in the Eocence period, about 55 million years ago, and they looked almost nothing like a horse.

The first true one-toed horses arose 15-10 million years ago. So they didn't take 70 million years to evolve, but only (55-10) about 45 million years.

But more to the point, what is this ** about such long lengths of time being too long to be belived? Evolutionary changes happen when the environment says they need changing. Horses hooves didn't evolve until there was a specific benefit given to having hooves. The process took as long as it did because that's how long it took. It's that simple. It sounds to me like you're claiming that they were working on a one-toed goal but kept falling behind schedule.

It's also erroneous to think of it as just a transition of the number of toes. That was only one part of a larger series of changes of body styles, sizes, and other adaptations to the environment. Horse evolution was a mish-mash of trial-and-error that produced a lot of various forms, and the one-toed version we know today was just the one that suceeded at the end. They didn't appear from some linear, as-if-scheduled rate of change (ok, late Pliocene, time to drop the next toe!). 50 million years doesn't seem too long or too short to me to change a dog-like animal into a modern horse.

The same thing can be said of the cetaceans as well. The changes came about when the environment made it necessary. I can see many more such examples even today. Hippos and beavers are obviously land animals but spend most of their lives in water. I could see them evolving into water-only animals someday. Sea otters as mentioned above have adapted to an entirely aquatic life, and I can see them evolving into more of a seal-like animal in the future. And seals and sea-lions are in my mind exactly what a transitional animal would look like. Legs have become fins, they are streamlined for the water and spend the majority of their time in it, and are now clumsy on land. In a few million years, they could be ocean-dwelling animals very similar to dolphins.

Well, enough rambling from me.
Here's the TalkOrigins FAQ on Cenozoic transitional fossils.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional/part2a.html

And here's a page on equestrian evolution from a different site.
http://www.equinestudies.org/historical.htm

Dunash
2002-Jun-12, 07:27 AM
A question for evolutionists:


The strange duck billed platypus animal has:

(A) a soft, sensitive "bill" and lays eggs like a duck
(B) fur like an animal,
(C) webbed and clawed feet,
(D) pockets in its jaws to carry food,
(E) a spur on rear legs which is poisonous like a snake's fang.

What were its ancestors?

informant
2002-Jun-12, 09:03 AM
beskeptical wrote: "Educated people knew the Earth was round."

So what was it the Catholic Church put Galileo on trial for?

Galileo was put on trial because he defended the heliocentric theory - that the Sun, not the Earth, is the centre of the universe. This is not the same as the Earth being round.
It was indeed known, since the Greeks, that the Earth was round.

Donnie B.
2002-Jun-12, 12:56 PM
On 2002-06-12 03:27, Dunash wrote:
A question for evolutionists:


The strange duck billed platypus animal has:

(A) a soft, sensitive "bill" and lays eggs like a duck
(B) fur like an animal,
(C) webbed and clawed feet,
(D) pockets in its jaws to carry food,
(E) a spur on rear legs which is poisonous like a snake's fang.

What were its ancestors?

Creationists.

[Sorry, couldn't help taking the cheap shot. It was just too juicy...] /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Gramma loreto
2002-Jun-12, 05:27 PM
On 2002-06-12 03:27, Dunash wrote:
A question for evolutionists:

What were its [the duck-billed platypus'] ancestors?


Going waaaaaay back, Eozostrodon, Morganucodon, and Haldanodon, which belong to a group of proto-mammals, are thought to be common ancestors to the three groups of living mammals: monotremes (which includes the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anantinus), marsupials, and placental mammals. A later mammal from the early Cretaceous period, Steropodon galmani, is the first known definite monotreme.

Jim
2002-Jun-12, 05:59 PM
On 2002-06-12 08:56, Donnie B. wrote:


On 2002-06-12 03:27, Dunash wrote:
The strange duck billed platypus animal...

What were its ancestors?

Creationists.


Wrong.

"Oh really," said Picard, not buying it for a second. "And just where, in all aspects of creation, can your hand be seen?"
Q smiled toothily. "Why Picard ... who do you think came up with the duck-billed platypus?"
Q-Squared, Peter David

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/platypus.html

Dunash
2002-Jun-12, 09:03 PM
Of course all this evolutionary confabulations would disappear if the radiometric dating was shown to be wrong.
This method is used to give an age to rocks (and thereby the fossils they bear) but
it rests upon several unprovable assumptions, e.g.
(A) Radioactive conditions are the same today as they were millions of years ago.
(B) The 'half life' of the elements is constant.
(C) No products of the radioactive decay were originally present nor have been
added since the formation of the rock.
These are all very large suppositions that cannot be easily checked in the field for
every sample.
When the same stratum is tested by different methods or even by the same
method, it frequently gives an enormous range of ages. For example, one rock
gave 14, 30, 95 and 750 million years by different methods. In another case, dating
of the same rock for Leakey's 1470 'Man' gave 220 million years and 2.6 million
years using the Potassium-Argon method. It is sometimes said that, despite
discrepancies, radiometric dating shows that rocks are millions of years old, not
thousands. One answer is that the 'daughter' elements found in some rocks are
naturally occurring along with many other elements. To infer vast ages from the
ratios of the elements found in rocks is unwarranted. The only reason why the
results of Radiometric Dating tests are quoted is that they give ages in terms of
millions of years. Other methods giving only thousands are completely ignored.

Silas
2002-Jun-12, 09:14 PM
On 2002-06-12 17:03, Dunash wrote:
Of course all this evolutionary confabulations would disappear if the radiometric dating was shown to be wrong.


Why? The theory of evolution doesn't depend on the time-frame in which it is observed to occur. It suffices to obeserve that the age of mammals is later than the age of dinosaurs; this isn't changed a bit if the time between them is 4 million or 40 million or 400 million years.

And that's a pretty broad range: if you think that the rate of radioactive decay of chemical elements has changed that much in the past, you need to show evidence for it.

(It would involve changes to the strong nuclear force, which would involve changes to the kinds of atoms that can exist; since we find roughly the same distribution of elements in very old rocks as in very new ones, the evidence points to the constancy of these basic physical constants.)



The only reason why the
results of Radiometric Dating tests are quoted is that they give ages in terms of
millions of years. Other methods giving only thousands are completely ignored.


Sigh... Another imputation of bad faith.

There are *no* valid methods of dating that give dates of "thousands of years" for rocks containing dinosaur fossils. None. There are certain tests that certain people have misconstrued.

(By the way, to make this relevant to astronomy, the basic mixture of elements is found in the stars and nebulae: if radioactive decay was different at the time the stars emitted the light which we see now, certain elements would be absent. They aren't. Ergo the strong nuclear force has not changed by any significant amount in many millions of years.)

Silas

DaveC
2002-Jun-12, 09:26 PM
On 2002-06-11 23:50, nebularain wrote:

Second, if, as I was taught in oceanography, whales decended from land mammals who returned to the sea, I wonder if I found a way to live in the water and taught my children to do so as well, how many generations would it take for my decendents to turn into sea creatures?



If being able to live in water became essential to human survival and procreation, either we would become extinct, or we would adapt to water life. Those that could hold their breath the longest, tread water the longest, swim the fastest and liked eating raw fish and seaweed would have the best chance to surive. No-one can say how long it would take for your descendants to become aquatic mammals, but if they had a survival advantage over land-based humans, it is clear that they would indeed evolve that way, IF they could survive long enough to adapt. If the environmental change is too rapid, most species won't adapt, so just moving your family into the water may not be the best strategy.

Wiley
2002-Jun-12, 11:21 PM
On 2002-06-12 17:03, Dunash wrote:
Of course all this evolutionary confabulations would disappear if the radiometric dating was shown to be wrong.


Not at all. Evolution was well accepted by the time radiocarbon dating was invented. The non-constancy of species and common descent were accepted almost immediately and with little debate (~1870). Other aspects of Darwin's theory of evolution, natural selection, multiplication of species, and gradualism, were all accepted by 1930. This is about twenty years before the invention of radiocarbon dating (1949).

DaveC
2002-Jun-13, 12:49 AM
Well, technically, it isn't radiocarbon dating that is used for fossils. It works well for organic materials up to about 50,000 years old, and even at that age the accuracy isn't great. Rocks were first dated by uranium decay. I think that discovery was around the same time though - late 40s, early 50s. There are better methods now available, but there is pretty good correlation among all the methods used when the date ranges to which they apply overlap.

Young earth creationists tend to leap upon the divergent results sometimes obtained for a single rock specimen - the kind of info Dunash provided - as "proof" that the method can't be relied upon. What they don't include is the qualifiers that went with the data explaining how the variations arose (although I haven't seen data as varied as Dunash's). Non homogeneous samples - for example those where the rock wasn't formed from a completely molten, thoroughly mixed matrix - will be expected to show different ages depending on where the sample was taken. This is well understood and not an indicator of a flawed method. The wealth of dating information that shows the age of the earth isn't in any way weakened by the few anomolous results used by YECs after they have conveniently dropped the contextual clarification.

beskeptical
2002-Jun-13, 01:45 AM
Too many things to address to use 'reply with quote'.

I appreciate not being the only person recognizing evolution is the best scientific explanation for the evidence we as humans have gathered about biology and associated sciences.

Evolution is not a 'belief' as a religion is. It does not require faith. In this case it only requires taking the time to learn how the process works and why the evidence is so clear.

So far, every single point that has been brought up on this BB to refute evolution, has already been discredited by the science that followed the original observation. I have not seen a single post brought up here against evolution that is more recent than 10-20 years old. Some of you may have heard these arguments recently, but they are not new evidence.

These old arguments have all been addressed by new research. Every single last one of them.

Even if the supposed evidence being cited here against evolution had not yet been addressed, single inconsistencies, even if numerous, do not indicate a theory is wrong. It would only mean a few points needed to be addressed. When the overwhelming evidence supports a theory, citing this and that reason to discount the evidence, is getting out of the realm of science.

Without getting into a religious debate, I think we should be able to look scientifically at the alternative explanation, creation.

If all animals, and/or insects, plants, & whatever other life is present today on this planet survived on a boat and grew from those few creatures in a mere few thousand years into the current populations, what would be required in terms of the math of reproduction for such a feat to have occurred. Not to mention the feat of populating all the continents and islands, and for the life that did result to accomplish all the variation that adaptation led to?

I propose to anyone to look at birth rates, death rates, rates of adaptation to account for variation, migration rates and hurdles, of all the organisms that supposedly were on that boat, and explain realistically, how it could have occurred in the time frame described by the Bible.

And, why is the above explanation supported by the evidence more than evolution is?

Silas
2002-Jun-13, 02:32 AM
On 2002-06-12 21:45, beskeptical wrote:Without getting into a religious debate, I think we should be able to look scientifically at the alternative explanation, creation.


To date, no one has ever specified a Theory of Creation.

It doesn't exist. It has no model. It has no description. It has no explanatory value.

The "creation" model consists solely of saying, "We don't know."

Where did it happen? "We don't know."
How did it happen? "We don't know."
Was it sudden or gradual? "We don't know."

Now, in the extreme, that position is always valid. There are a lot of things we don't know, and an awful lot of proposed explanations, in the history of science, have been wrong. Evolution might well be wrong.

But "We don't know" is *not* an improvement.

The recent refinement of "Intelligent Design," while slightly better, still fails: it cannot explain those features well-documented in nature, of adaptions that are pretty obviously *not* intelligent.

Parasitism alone is a damning rebuttal to Intelligent Design. What the hell sort of twisted, sick, evil, diseased "intelligence" would have "designed" the tapeworm, the fluke, the scabies, the tick, the ichneumon wasp, or the smallpox virus?

And, of course, Darwin realized early on that no "intelligent designer" could possibly have designed whales with hip-bones, or human beings with toes.

(Sheesh, I really hate my toenails...)

Silas

Prince
2002-Jun-13, 10:50 AM
The C14 level is not constant as the ground
level activity is still risingi.e. the amount of C14 is not yet in equilibrium. This
makes the true age shorter than apparent age. This method is quite unreliable for ages over 3,000 years despite datings up to 40,000 years being quoted.

beskeptical
2002-Jun-13, 11:39 AM
On 2002-06-13 06:50, Prince wrote:
.... This method is quite unreliable for ages over 3,000 years despite datings up to 40,000 years being quoted.


You repeat yourself a lot but you haven't addressed any responses. Do you want to just speak your mind or are you actually trying to convince anyone? You do not speak of any expertise nor qualifications for your statements. Why should anyone take them seriously?

DaveC
2002-Jun-13, 02:39 PM
On 2002-06-13 06:50, Prince wrote:
The C14 level is not constant as the ground
level activity is still risingi.e. the amount of C14 is not yet in equilibrium. This
makes the true age shorter than apparent age. This method is quite unreliable for ages over 3,000 years despite datings up to 40,000 years being quoted.


This is a hypothesis of creationists that is not borne out by observation. C14 dating is quite accurate to 40,000 years and can be stretched to about 50,000 years with accelerator mass spectrometry. Comparison with dendochronology (tree rings), gives clear correlation up to about 12,000 years ago - suggesting that C14 indeed has been in stable equilibrium for at least that long. Where did you get the 3000 year figure? What is the mechanism for C14 creation? Why do you think it isn't at equilibrium? How would any living organism selectively incorporate C12 rather than C14 making it appear older than it actually is? Chemically, there is no distinction between the two isotopes.

And on the broader issue of dating minerals:
How do you explain the correlation of uranium-lead, potassium-argon, rubidium-strontium and fission track methodologies that all deliver up the same ages for minerals between about 50 million and a billion years old?

Wiley
2002-Jun-13, 03:06 PM
I've always wondered why Christians who want Intelligent Design as it disproves the kinder, gentler God (post Isaiah). If a baby bird falls out of the nest, he will die. The mother bird will not recongonize him. Babies in the nest are mine, babies outside are not. Also consider the wasps who lay their eggs in the still living body of a tarantula. The larvae will slowly eat all the spider's non-vital organs. It takes about agonizing three months for the wasp larvae to finally kill the tarantula. If there is a "Designer", he's one cruel and twisted SOB.

SeanF
2002-Jun-13, 03:20 PM
On 2002-06-12 22:32, Silas wrote:

And, of course, Darwin realized early on that no "intelligent designer" could possibly have designed whales with hip-bones, or human beings with toes.



I heard a quote somewhere and I wish I could remember where so I could properly attribute it.

"Stop telling God what He can't do!"

Feel free to say that you wouldn't have created things this way, but please stop saying that no entity could possibly have done so - seems a tad egotistical to decide that there's absolutely no "intelligent" reason to do something just because you can't think of one, doesn't it?

DaveC
2002-Jun-13, 03:46 PM
I figure mosquitoes are the proof there was no intelligence behind the design. Creationists argue that misery is inflicted on humans because we all fall short of God's expectations, but watching a cow suffer as clouds of biting insects torment it doesn't seem to fit with that explanation. The world is the way it is because that's the only way it could be given a billion years of evolution. There's nothing miraculous, just a natural balance, some of which isn't the way we humans might have done it, given the chance.

""Stop telling God what He can't do!"

I think this was Neils Bohr to Einstein when Einstein made the comment that "God doesn't play dice with the universe". Bohr is reported to have replied, "Albert, stop telling God what to do"

The point being made is that to postulate an intelligent designer, the design must be intelligent. It isn't. The existence of the design is used as "evidence" that a designer exists, but in the absence of any corroborationg evidence, the argument is completely circular.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DaveC on 2002-06-13 11:54 ]</font>

Silas
2002-Jun-13, 03:52 PM
On 2002-06-13 11:20, SeanF wrote:


On 2002-06-12 22:32, Silas wrote:

And, of course, Darwin realized early on that no "intelligent designer" could possibly have designed whales with hip-bones, or human beings with toes.



I heard a quote somewhere and I wish I could remember where so I could properly attribute it.

"Stop telling God what He can't do!"

Feel free to say that you wouldn't have created things this way, but please stop saying that no entity could possibly have done so - seems a tad egotistical to decide that there's absolutely no "intelligent" reason to do something just because you can't think of one, doesn't it?


It isn't that I can't think of one; it is that no one can. The facts are not "intelligent."

You can, if you wish, fall back on the position that the creator is "mysterious." However, acting in a mysterious fashion is not "intelligent." Most importantly, saying, "It's mysterious" is not scientific. It can explain anything...and thus explains nothing.

Imagine if I were to respond to Dunash that way! He says, "Radioisotope dating gives contradictory results." I say, "You're right: it's mysterious!" He says, "The process returns dates that are too large." I say, "Don't tell rocks what they can't do."

In a theology message board, you'd have a point. In a science message board, you're off base (and I tag you "out.")

Silas

SeanF
2002-Jun-13, 04:12 PM
On 2002-06-13 11:46, DaveC wrote:

""Stop telling God what He can't do!"

I think this was Neils Bohr to Einstein when Einstein made the comment that "God doesn't play dice with the universe". Bohr is reported to have replied, "Albert, stop telling God what to do"

That's it! Thanks! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


The point being made is that to postulate an intelligent designer, the design must be intelligent. It isn't. The existence of the design is used as "evidence" that a designer exists, but in the absence of any corroborationg evidence, the argument is completely circular.

Ah, but you can't authoritatively say that the design is not intelligent, you can only say that it's not recognizably intelligent. Concluding that it therefore can not be intelligent is also circular, no?

I am not backing ID - I am not attempting to provide or defend "proof" that a deity did create the universe. I am simply refuting Silas' alleged "proof" that one didn't.

SeanF
2002-Jun-13, 04:20 PM
On 2002-06-13 11:52, Silas wrote:


On 2002-06-13 11:20, SeanF wrote:


On 2002-06-12 22:32, Silas wrote:

And, of course, Darwin realized early on that no "intelligent designer" could possibly have designed whales with hip-bones, or human beings with toes.



I heard a quote somewhere and I wish I could remember where so I could properly attribute it.

"Stop telling God what He can't do!"

Feel free to say that you wouldn't have created things this way, but please stop saying that no entity could possibly have done so - seems a tad egotistical to decide that there's absolutely no "intelligent" reason to do something just because you can't think of one, doesn't it?


It isn't that I can't think of one; it is that no one can. The facts are not "intelligent."


Oh, I see. It's not you, personally, who is the repository of all possible intelligence and wisdom in the universe, it's humanity as a whole. If it doesn't make sense to "us," it can not be "intelligent."

Sorry, still not valid.



You can, if you wish, fall back on the position that the creator is "mysterious." However, acting in a mysterious fashion is not "intelligent." Most importantly, saying, "It's mysterious" is not scientific. It can explain anything...and thus explains nothing.

Imagine if I were to respond to Dunash that way! He says, "Radioisotope dating gives contradictory results." I say, "You're right: it's mysterious!" He says, "The process returns dates that are too large." I say, "Don't tell rocks what they can't do."

In a theology message board, you'd have a point. In a science message board, you're off base (and I tag you "out.")

Silas


Wow! You claim proof that God could not have created the universe, and then accuse me of being off-base? In a science message board, this whole conversation is off base! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Your allegorical conversation with Dunash does not seem to logically compare to ours. I think the intelligence of hypothetical deities is a mildly different concept than specific measurements of actual rocks, isn't it?

Your implication that whale hip-bones prove that God could not have created the universe is fundamentally flawed - it proves no such thing. The question of creation simply can not be scientifically proven - neither for nor against.

PS I hope that I'm not coming off as angry or anything here - I'm just engaging in friendly debate! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


_________________
SeanF

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SeanF on 2002-06-13 12:22 ]</font>

DaveC
2002-Jun-13, 04:53 PM
Your implication that whale hip-bones prove that God could not have created the universe is fundamentally flawed - it proves no such thing. The question of creation simply can not be scientifically proven - neither for nor against.


It is true that one can't prove the non-existence of something - e.g. creation - but when it is set opposite something that IS proven - e.g. evolution - it needs something better than hand waving as an argument for its being a viable alternative. I could be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge, no-one anywhere has ever produced one piece of evidence for the existence of a creator. It is simply a matter of faith.



Ah, but you can't authoritatively say that the design is not intelligent, you can only say that it's not recognizably intelligent. Concluding that it therefore can not be intelligent is also circular, no?


But you have to first prove the existence of a designer before you can ascribe the characteristics of nature to a design. You haven't done that. You are using nature as the argument that a designer exists - and further concluding that the designer is an intelligence. I'm not trying to prove a designer doesn't exist, nor do I think that's what Silas is trying to do. The onus of proof is on you to defend the invocation of magic as a mechanism of species diversification.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DaveC on 2002-06-13 12:56 ]</font>

SeanF
2002-Jun-13, 05:01 PM
On 2002-06-13 12:53, DaveC wrote:
You are using nature as the argument that a designer exists - and further concluding that the designer is an intelligence.


No, I am not doing this. I am not promoting nor defending ID or creationism.



I'm not trying to prove a designer doesn't exist, nor do I think that's what Silas is trying to do.


Silas said:



And, of course, Darwin realized early on that no "intelligent designer" could possibly have designed whales with hip-bones, or human beings with toes.


Granted, he's just citing or paraphrasing Darwin, but the implication that he agrees with the concept is there. "No 'intelligent designer' could possibly have . . ." This is what I was responding to.



The onus of proof is on you to defend the invocation of magic as a mechanism of species diversification.


Again, not me.


_________________
SeanF

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SeanF on 2002-06-13 13:02 ]</font>

Silas
2002-Jun-13, 05:19 PM
On 2002-06-13 12:20, SeanF wrote:
Your implication that whale hip-bones prove that God could not have created the universe is fundamentally flawed - it proves no such thing. The question of creation simply can not be scientifically proven - neither for nor against.


Well, to begin with, I didn't say that whales' hip-bones prove that God could not have created the universe.

I said that whales' hip-bones prove (or suggest strongly) that an "intelligent designer" did not create whales.

Here is the reasoning: an "intelligent" design uses functioning parts for rational purposes. Hip bones have a function: to support legs. Whales have no legs. Whales have no use, function, nor need for hip bones. And yet they have hip bones... Ergo...

The "ID" notion can't explain it. It can only beg the question. "Maybe there is a use we are unable to perceive." Maybe. But "Maybe" is not an explanation; the ID concept has no explanatory value.

Evolution, on the other hand, is easily capable of embracing the concept of vestigial organs and structures, and "explains" the mystery without raising a sweat. Whales are descended from animals that had legs.



PS I hope that I'm not coming off as angry or anything here - I'm just engaging in friendly debate! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


Thank you for that; it is reassuring! I sometimes get grumpy and cranky and lose sight of the fact that this isn't "World War Three." Please forgive me for those times that I seem like a fussbudget!

Silas

Wiley
2002-Jun-13, 06:03 PM
On 2002-06-12 22:32, Silas wrote:
(Sheesh, I really hate my toenails...)


Okay, that's too much information. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

SeanF
2002-Jun-13, 06:22 PM
On 2002-06-13 13:19, Silas wrote:

Well, to begin with, I didn't say that whales' hip-bones prove that God could not have created the universe.

I said that whales' hip-bones prove (or suggest strongly) that an "intelligent designer" did not create whales.

Conceded (although I will suggest that your original statement was quite absolute -- a "suggest strongly" in place of "could not possibly" would not have provoked such a response from me).


Here is the reasoning: an "intelligent" design uses functioning parts for rational purposes. Hip bones have a function: to support legs. Whales have no legs. Whales have no use, function, nor need for hip bones. And yet they have hip bones... Ergo...

The "ID" notion can't explain it. It can only beg the question. "Maybe there is a use we are unable to perceive." Maybe. But "Maybe" is not an explanation; the ID concept has no explanatory value.

Evolution, on the other hand, is easily capable of embracing the concept of vestigial organs and structures, and "explains" the mystery without raising a sweat. Whales are descended from animals that had legs.

No argument here -- evolution seems a more logical explanation than ID, and I have not seen any evidence which favors ID over evolution.

However, to suggest that it's impossible for there to be "rational purposes" within the concept of ID which we do not yet understand (or maybe even can not understand) is, to me, illogical and short-sighted.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence . . .

Caryn
2002-Jun-13, 08:14 PM
12,000 year old trees? None shown to be older than 4,600 years
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/546.asp

Prince
2002-Jun-13, 08:55 PM
The evolution of whales has always been a problem for the evolutionists as they are a sea creature that is nevertheless classified as a mammal because they suckle their young. When Darwin wrote "The Origin of Species" in 1859, he had difficulty in explaining how whales could have evolved from a land
into a sea creature. He assumed that they evolved from land animals, as the possiblily of a fish evolving directly into a mammal
was too much even for him to accept. He mentioned that bears had been swimming in rivers catching fish and suggested that over
millions of years they could have gradually evolved so that they developed the fins, tail and other features of whales. How they did this without leaving a single intermediary fossil is a question that
never been answered. In the first edition of his book, Darwin obviously felt that he
should put some explanation forward for the evolution of these unusual animals. He was well aware how weak his however, for after the first two editions he quietly dropped
it from the text.
One would have thought that this whole question of how whales would have been carefully ignored. However the National Geographic Magazine, throwing caution to the
wind, declared that "The whale's ascendency to sovereign size apparently began 60
million years ago when hairy, four legged mammals, in search of food or sanctuary, ventured into water. As eons passed, changes
slowly occurred: hind legs disappeared, front legs changed into flippers, hair gave way to a thick, smooth blanket of blubber,
nostrils moved to the top of the head, the tail broadened into flukes and in the bouyant water world the body became enormous"
Once again the imagination is stretched beyond breaking point in order to support the theory of evolution. One cannot but have a degree of admiration for the indominable faith of the evolutionist in his theory in the face of so much opposing evidence!

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2002-Jun-13, 09:02 PM
On 2002-06-13 16:14, Caryn wrote:
12,000 year old trees? None shown to be older than 4,600 years
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/546.asp


This one here, Named Methuselah, (http://www.sonic.net/bristlecone/intro.html) is 4,767 Years Old.

Even more importantly, Dead Trees, have been Correlated with the Living Trees, and Give a very Clear Record, for at least 10-, if not 12,000, Years!

_________________
If you Ignore YOUR Rights, they Will go away.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ZaphodBeeblebrox on 2002-06-13 17:12 ]</font>

Wiley
2002-Jun-13, 09:11 PM
On 2002-06-13 16:55, Prince wrote:
Once again the imagination is stretched beyond breaking point in order to support the theory of evolution. One cannot but have a degree of admiration for the indominable faith of the evolutionist in his theory in the face of so much opposing evidence!



Your inability to understand something does not constitute evidence, either for or against.

Tim Thompson
2002-Jun-13, 09:34 PM
Well, I see that the Bad Astronomy board has devolved into yet another useless discussion between reality (evolution) and fantasy (creationism). The biggest problem with advocates of "intelligent" design is that, despite the clever monicker, their arguments are sorely lacking in, dare I say, intelligence.

For instance ...

Prince (on page 4): The oldest rocks (Pre-Cambrian) have been searched for many years but no undisputed fossils have been found.

That is a trivial falsehood, invented by unintelligent advocates of design, who think the rest of us are dumb enough to fall for the gag. The precambrian rocks are chock-a-block (as the Crocodile Hunter (http://www.crocodilehunter.com/index1.htm) would say) with fossils. I draw the attention of the interested reader to Prelude to the Cambrian Explosion, James W. Valentine, Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science (http://earth.AnnualReviews.org/) 30: 285-306, 2002.

Dunash ("unprovable assumptions" of radiometric dating from page 5): (A) Radioactive conditions are the same today as they were millions of years ago. (B) The "half life" of the elements is constant. (C) No products of the radioactive decay were originally present nor have been added since the formation of the rock.

As for "(C)", it is simply another of those invented falshoods. Radiometric dating methods do not necessarily require any such assumption. As for "(A)" and "(B)", one is motivated to say "so what"? All assumptions ever made are "unprovable", for any sufficiently restrictive definition of "proof". The criticism is totally meaningless, repeated as a mantra for it propaganda value.

The real question (the one creationists never bother to ask) is "Are the assumptions reasonable?". Why assume that the decay rate ("half life") is a constant? How about "why not"? Under what know theoretical or observational conditions could either change? The answer is "none". And what are "radioactive consitions" anyway? Is that a reference to the mechanism of decay? Is there any reason to believe it should be different? As a matter of fact, there is not. As a matter of fact, the assumptions are eminently reasonable. See "A Radiometric Dating Resource List (http://www.tim-thompson.com/radiometric.html)" for lots more stuff about radiometric dating & creationism.

And since this is the "astronomy" board, keep in mind that there are astronomical age measures too, based on stellar evolution models, HR diagram, white dwarf cooling & etc. All of them (and I do mean the inclusive all) indicate a universe that is at least several billion years old, quite a bit older indeed than the paltry 4.5 billion for Earth.

Young earth creationism is a bad joke.

Silas
2002-Jun-13, 10:11 PM
On 2002-06-13 17:34, Tim Thompson wrote:
Well, I see that the Bad Astronomy board has devolved into yet another useless discussion . . .


Aye. Well, I'm dropping out of it, since Prince insists on calling me a liar, and that isn't how I believe an honest debate ought to be handled.


Silas

thkaufm
2002-Jun-14, 03:48 AM
12,000 year old trees? None shown to be older than 4,600 years

Not "Living" trees. Living tree's ring record overlap with dead ones.

Tom

roidspop
2002-Jun-14, 05:10 AM
My posts seem to have a magical ability to kill off threads, so we'll put a stop to this one. (not from force of wit, mind /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif )

Creationists argue from what they regard as revealed knowledge. If the facts do not fit this body of wisdom, then whatever steps are necessary to make them fit (or disappear)will be taken. They see science as a direct threat to their system of beliefs, so they try to strike back under the guise of scientific argument. They seem to imply that if one were not deluded or a hide-bound contrarian, it would be obvious that only the creationist point of view could possibly be true.

I have wondered what would arise given the same "anomalous" evidence so beloved by creationists if it were examined by a non-Christian culture which had never been exposed to Christian referents at all. Would this culture independently arrive at the notions of ID, a young earth, a universal flood covering the highest peaks on earth, a radiation of all living creatures from a single geographic point 5,000 years ago and so on? Any bets on that?

Further, the piecemeal nature of creationist argument is always evident, yet they like to claim they are more scientific than the institution of science itself. Very well. Let them go head-to-head doing actual science out on the leading edge of all the disciplines. How successful would they be in formulating useful hypotheses which can be falsified and which can lead to fruitful predictions, predictions which cannot be anticipated at this time? I think in such a a hypothetical case, creationists would stand revealed in their true nature as 'antagonist symbionts'...incapable of any worthwhile contribution to our understanding of nature, while depending on science for insignificant scraps of debatable worth to use as their fodder while attacking the source of their sustenance.

Now, we can all go someplace else and talk about astronomy.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2002-Jun-14, 05:34 AM
On 2002-06-14 01:10, roidspop wrote:
My posts seem to have a magical ability to kill off threads, so we'll put a stop to this one. (not from force of wit, mind /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif )


Yeah, mine too; especially, if I include, Cute Little Quotes:

"I Bring you Love!" - Charles Montgomery Burns

Prince
2002-Jun-14, 07:27 AM
Whale hip bones are alleged to show that whales evolved from land animals. However, Bergman and Howe point out that they are different in the male and female whales. They are not useless at all, but help penis erection in the males and vaginal contraction in the females. "He would be a rash man indeed who would assert that any 'vestigial organ' is uselesss" (Professor Goodrich, Oxford)

informant
2002-Jun-14, 11:00 AM
My take...

(My posts have been known to kill threads too...)

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2002-Jun-14, 11:02 AM
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_cool.gif

Jim
2002-Jun-14, 04:53 PM
The evolution of whales has always been a problem (1) for the evolutionists as they are a sea creature that is nevertheless classified as a mammal because they suckle their young (2). (Darwin) assumed that they evolved from land animals... How they did this without leaving a single intermediary fossil is a question that
never been answered.

No intermediary fossils?

How about rodhocetus, durodon and basilosaurus?

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/09/0919_walkingwhale.html

http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/beasts/photo/photo2_zoom4.html

http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/beasts/photo/photo_zoom2.html

However the National Geographic Magazine, throwing caution to the wind (3)...

Earth’s largest animals are sometimes born with a leg or two, a startling genetic reminder of the time, 50 million years ago, when their ancestors walked on dry land.

http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/data/2001/11/01/html/ft_20011101.4.html

Once again the imagination is stretched beyond breaking point in order to support the theory of evolution.

Not really. All it takes is a close and unprejudiced examination of the evidence.

One cannot but have a degree of admiration for the indominable faith of the evolutionist in his theory in the face of so much opposing evidence!

I'm sorry, I must have yawned.

What opposing evidence?

(1) I was unaware that explaining the origins of whales had ever been a problem, more of a challenge.

(2) There is much more to the definition of "mammal" than "they suckle their young." Cetaceans in general meet all the requirements of placental mammals.

(3) The National Geographic does not "throw caution to the wind." When they report on a subject, it has been researched out the wazoo and their article stands on pretty firm ground. They are very careful to delineate between fact, theory, supposition and opinion.

Jim
2002-Jun-14, 05:00 PM
On 2002-06-14 03:27, Prince wrote:
Whale hip bones are alleged to show that whales evolved from land animals. However, Bergman and Howe point out that they are different in the male and female whales. They are not useless at all, but help penis erection in the males and vaginal contraction in the females. "He would be a rash man indeed who would assert that any 'vestigial organ' is uselesss" (Professor Goodrich, Oxford)

Professor Goodrich is right. Medical science has even found a use for the human appendix... although many people live normal lives after removal.

However, to assume that the cetacean hip-bone is there for a "designed" purpose is also rash. Could this function have not been performed much more easily some other way? Was the Grand Designer so lacking in imagination and creativity that copying the design of a land mammal was the only possibility? Is it not at least as possible that the reason the cetacean hip-bone has not disappeared altogether is that it also serves this function?

DaveC
2002-Jun-14, 05:05 PM
On 2002-06-14 03:27, Prince wrote:
Whale hip bones are alleged to show that whales evolved from land animals. However, Bergman and Howe point out that they are different in the male and female whales. They are not useless at all, but help penis erection in the males and vaginal contraction in the females.


No, they don't. That's simply a bald statement from the creationist camp that is not supported by any scientific research. There is a bone that helps with penile erection - the os penis - absent in females, obviously. As for the leg bones in whales helping with vaginal contraction, I always understood it was muscle, not bone that caused movement.

beskeptical
2002-Jun-15, 02:17 AM
On 2002-06-13 16:14, Caryn wrote:
12,000 year old trees? None shown to be older than 4,600 years
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/546.asp


The request for a donation at the end of that article says it all.

I think the oldest Bristlecone Pines that have had their tree rings counted were a tad over 5,000 years but it isn't necessary to quibble. Tree rings are consistent with the weather. Tree ages overlap, in other words, you can find a tree that is no longer living and match the ring pattern to find when it did live. Tree rings have been matched which overlap to show a continuous weather history going back much more than 5,000 years. I think there are some tree ring maps back 10,000 years or more. I will find a reference to be more precise.

One Bristlecone might be 4,700 years but we didn't just luckily find the one first tree to regrow after the supposed world wide flood.

beskeptical
2002-Jun-15, 02:23 AM
On 2002-06-13 17:02, ZaphodBeeblebrox wrote:
This one here, Named Methuselah, (http://www.sonic.net/bristlecone/intro.html) is 4,767 Years Old.

Even more importantly, Dead Trees, have been Correlated with the Living Trees, and Give a very Clear Record, for at least 10-, if not 12,000, Years!


Wow, we said the same thing. I posted a reply to Caryn before I got to page 6.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2002-Jun-15, 02:27 AM
On 2002-06-14 22:23, beskeptical wrote:


On 2002-06-13 17:02, ZaphodBeeblebrox wrote:
This one here, Named Methuselah, (http://www.sonic.net/bristlecone/intro.html) is 4,767 Years Old.

Even more importantly, Dead Trees, have been Correlated with the Living Trees, and Give a very Clear Record, for at least 10-, if not 12,000, Years!


Wow, we said the same thing. I posted a reply to Caryn before I got to page 6.


Hey, Great Minds think alike; of course, so do Crazy Ones, Cheers!

beskeptical
2002-Jun-15, 02:38 AM
Well, now I see why these threads get locked. You try to discuss evidence, and it deteriorates. I would say, those without evidence seem to get mad first but that would be difficult to show without provoking more anger.

I picture the person with their hands over their ears saying, "I can't hear you."

Its like I said, evolution is a fact, not a theory, get over it. Isn't it un-religious like to get mad a people just because they don't believe you?

I know this sounds rudely blunt, but that is one of my communication traits I am reluctant to give up for the sake of social niceness. My friends are used to it.

nebularain
2002-Jun-15, 02:41 AM
All right, guys, if you are really getting annoyed with this post, why do you keep posting on it? I mean, that's like trying to kill a fire by throwing a log on it!

And speaking of adding fuel to the fire:



On 2002-06-13 11:06, Wiley wrote:
I've always wondered why Christians who want Intelligent Design as it disproves the kinder, gentler God (post Isaiah). If a baby bird falls out of the nest, he will die. The mother bird will not recongonize him. Babies in the nest are mine, babies outside are not. Also consider the wasps who lay their eggs in the still living body of a tarantula. The larvae will slowly eat all the spider's non-vital organs. It takes about agonizing three months for the wasp larvae to finally kill the tarantula. If there is a "Designer", he's one cruel and twisted SOB.


OK, I thought you guys wanted to keep religion out of this scientific discussion. So what's this post for? I may have been born yesterday, but this looks like a theological argument to me. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif

Well, all right, if you really want to know an answer to this, let me refer you to the book of Job chapters 38-42. If you have a problem with that explanation of things, then complain to the source. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Of course, I'm going to have to ask you about your bird argument, too, because in my experience, the adult bird will try to still try to feed the baby out of the nest if it knows the baby is there, but it does end up becoming a lost cause because it is just too unprotected on the ground.

_________________
o/ Nebulas & Rain
“I haven't been droppin' no eaves, sir, honest.”

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: nebularain on 2002-06-14 22:43 ]</font>

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2002-Jun-15, 03:02 AM
On 2002-06-14 22:38, beskeptical wrote:
Its like I said, evolution is a fact, not a theory, get over it. Isn't it un-religious like to get mad a people just because they don't believe you?

I know this sounds rudely blunt, but that is one of my communication traits I am reluctant to give up for the sake of social niceness. My friends are used to it.


Yeah, especially since they're Supposed, to Think of Frankness, as a Virtue. Proverbs 24:26/26:18,19/27:5,6/28:23

_________________
If you Ignore YOUR Rights, they Will go away.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ZaphodBeeblebrox on 2002-06-15 04:33 ]</font>

Dunash
2002-Jun-15, 07:33 PM
The archaeopteryx bird is claimed to be the link between reptiles and birds. But it had perfectly formed feathers which are very complex in design. There can be over a million minute hooks on one feather. Nothing which is half way between a feather and a
reptile's scale has ever been found. An animal with half developed wings could
neither run nor fly properly and would be quickly eliminated.Evolutionists cannot determine how birds evolved by studying existing species. Special types of skulls, feathers, hollow bones, etc., appear 'randomly' in existing species making classification impossible. Nesting habits of some birds cannot be learnt, e.g. the mud nest of the House Martin has to be right first time or the eggs will fall.

Silas
2002-Jun-15, 10:12 PM
The world is flat. There were no dinosaurs; they were all fake, like Piltdown Man and the Cardiff Giant.

(Oh, wait, I believe in the Cardiff Giant...)

The moon is only 3,000 miles high. Proof! I was in Los Angeles and looked straight up and saw the moon. But my sister was in New York at the same time, and she saw the moon at 45% above the horizon! Since it is 3,000 miles from LA to NY, anyone capable of simple geometry (which excludes NASA, of course!) can figure out the truth.

By the way, the world is only 2,000 years old. The "Middle Ages" were a hoax written by fraudulent historians in the 1500's. (Actually about A.D. 510.) This happened at the same time that Pope Gregory changed the calendar. The change of a few days was only a smoke-screen for the BIG change of over 1,000 years. The year that we think of as A.D. 1660 was actually the year "666," and Oliver Cromwell was the Anti-Christ.

There are no chemical elements; everything is made of fire, water, earth, and air.

(I am certain of this because of the amount of fire-water I have consumed.)

There are no planets. "Jupiter" is just a reflection of your own eyeball in the mirror of your own telescope. The "great red spot" is just the fovea of the eye. The rings around Saturn are evidence of incipient glaucoma; you ought to see a doctor.

Evolutionists admit that their dinosaur bones aren't really bones. They're made of stone. Is anyone so stupid to think that big lizards had bones made of rock?

(Although the explanation supplied by Sister Rossetta, the Lavendar Nun, is also pretty good: dinosaur fossils are rocks that come from the blown-up planet between earth and Mars: they are proof of prehistoric life *on another planet.*)

Remember: be absolutely sure to put the shiny side of the tinfoil *away* from your head, otherwise you will simply amplify the mind-control rays and fry the few brain cells you have left.

("My brain? That's my second favorite organ!" Woody Allen.)

Silas

Kaptain K
2002-Jun-16, 12:55 AM
Remember: be absolutely sure to put the shiny side of the tinfoil *away* from your head, otherwise you will simply amplify the mind-control rays and fry the few brain cells you have left.
[Johnny Carson voice]
I-I-I did not know that.
[/Johnny Carson voice]

_________________
When all is said and done - sit down and shut up!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kaptain K on 2002-06-15 20:57 ]</font>

thkaufm
2002-Jun-16, 01:17 AM
An animal with half developed wings could neither run nor fly properly and would be quickly eliminated.

Penguins seem to have done just fine without flying or running.

Tom

TinFoilHat
2002-Jun-16, 01:56 AM
On 2002-06-15 18:12, Silas wrote:
Remember: be absolutely sure to put the shiny side of the tinfoil *away* from your head, otherwise you will simply amplify the mind-control rays and fry the few brain cells you have left.

Shiny side out alone will amplify the radiation of your own though waves, causing your thoughts to be broadcast to everyone around you. Ideally you should be using a double-layered setup, with a shiny-side-out layer on the outside, and a shiny-side-in layer on the inside, to both block mind-control rays and shield your own thoughts.

roidspop
2002-Jun-16, 02:25 AM
Nothing which is half way between a feather and a
reptile's scale has ever been found.


...except for those fossils from China, but they don't count, I suppose.

beskeptical
2002-Jun-16, 07:28 AM
Well should I or shouldn't I. Oh, I shall.

Age of the Earth: overwhelming evidence for somewhere between 4.5 to 5 billion years.

Mechanism for evolution to occur: Completely described down to the molecular step by step process. Consistent with all known evidence. Reproducible (gene splicing, breeding, etc.).

Details of first organism that could be defined as 'living': Process roughly known, research will likely provide a complete model (of the RNA) within the next few decades, maybe sooner.

Repetitive argument that evidence of transitional organisms have not been found: Most transition examples exist in living organisms today and are well documented in the fossil record. Why so many people continue denying this evidence is unclear.

Can you find mainstream biologists who do not except evolution: No.

Can you find mainstream geologists who think the Earth is less than 10,000 years old: No.

Can you find mainstream paleontologists who do not accept evolution: No.

Do the vast majority of scientists reject 'Creation' as a legitimate scientific theory and feel it belongs in theology but not a science category: Yes.

I think that summarizes it. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

nebularain
2002-Jun-16, 01:13 PM
On 2002-06-15 21:17, thkaufm wrote:

An animal with half developed wings could neither run nor fly properly and would be quickly eliminated.

Penguins seem to have done just fine without flying or running.


As I read this I am thinking that if this was an ornithology forum, you would have had people jumping all over you. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif For one thing, evolutionists claim that penguins have lost their ability to fly, so using them as an argument for the feasibility of the pre-flight bird is an off target response. Secondly, if one is implying (based on the argument this post is based on) that penguins' wings are useless, that is simply not true. All you need to do is watch a documentary (such as Blue Planet on the Discovery Channel) that shows penguins swimming. It's quite remarkable; when they swim they actually have the appearance of flying through the water! So, their wings are formed to fulfill a very specific function.

Now, if you wanted to argue useless wings, I would use the ostrich and the emu! Granted, I'd want to do a little research just to make sure they actually never do use their wings for anything. But again, evolution places them on the post-flight side of the equation. So, that doesn't satisfactorily answer the original question. I can appreciate the attempt, though! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

I really do appreciate the zeal with which all of you guys keep persistently driving your points. Unfortunately, the deepest questions I proposed still haven't been answered. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif I really do want a scientific explanation for them. So far all the fossils of animals we have seen are in fully developed states - that is fully worth being classified as their own species (even though they can arguably appear transitory, they don't have to be classified as transitory, so to speak, because they have their own unique function). If evolution occurs as one DNA mutation at a time, unless it has been shown that DNA changes can produce a major change in one generation, the process of a species being altered into another has got to be pretty weird, and their functioning would seem to be pretty awkward! I'm trying to picture a species let's say an eighth of the way through. This would put it between the creature we know as dinosaur and the creatures we deem as being a birdlike dinosaur (i.e. Archaeopteryx). (BTW, I'm curious about the fossils found in China mentioned earlier; I tried doing a web search to see them, but I didn't know where to look or what phrase to put in the search engine to find what I was looking for. I would be interested in looking at them if anyone has a link.) Or let's say the species as it is developing between the "birdlike dinosaur" and the actual bird. There is not only the question of whether the animal is fully functional with each new mutation, but what is actually keeping these successive mutations on track with each other? I thought mutations are random. Yet, for evolution to work as it says it does, mutations can't be random, can they? If they are not following a pattern or a pre-determined course of action and if they are not working together (arm transfromation and leg transformation and general body shape transformation and skin covering transformation and physiological transformations), how does this process succeed? What did keep the thousands or millions (whichever is needed) individual genetic mutations continuous with each other? And how did all of the successive mutations efficiently spread throughout the population enough for the successful rise of a new species?

How often does a mutation become a dominant trait? If the mutation is recessive, it would take a fair number of generations of siblings and cousins mating for the one mutations to show a significant expression of its trait in the population. That's just for one trait. Now, for another mutation to build on that trait in a future decendant and another to build on the two traits and so on down the line, that is quite a feat for the trait expression to keep passing down. I'm just doing simple Punnet squares for this train of thought.

If the genetic code is really this "cleaver", or if some natural process is "guiding" the transformation, or something else I cannot think of, then science should be doing some serious investigations into it, because this is very powerful stuff, and we should't risk being blind-sided by the potential for such a magnificent transformation of a species to occur again. Besides, if geneticists had the key to this process, imagine what could be accomplished with such knowledge!

(Please, no cynical remarks as this is a sincere and serious question. Thank-you.)

_________________
o/ Nebulas & Rain
“I haven't been droppin' no eaves, sir, honest.”


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: nebularain on 2002-06-16 10:06 ]</font>

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jun-16, 02:28 PM
On 2002-06-16 09:13, nebularain wrote:


On 2002-06-15 21:17, thkaufm wrote:

An animal with half developed wings could neither run nor fly properly and would be quickly eliminated.

Penguins seem to have done just fine without flying or running.


As I read this I am thinking that if this was an ornithology forum, you would have had people jumping all over you. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif For one thing, evolutionists claim that penguins have lost their ability to fly, so using them as an argument for the feasibility of the pre-flight bird is an off target response. Secondly, if one is implying (based on the argument this post is based on) that penguins' wings are useless, that is simply not true.

Strawman. No one seems to be implying that a penguin's wings are useless. They are just an example of an animal with underdeveloped wings that has not been "quickly eliminated."


I really do want a scientific explanation for them. So far all the fossils of animals we have seen are in fully developed states - that is fully worth being classified as their own species (even though they can arguably appear transitory, they don't have to be classified as transitory, so to speak, because they have their own unique function). If evolution occurs as one DNA mutation at a time, unless it has been shown that DNA changes can produce a major change in one generation, the process of a species being altered into another has got to be pretty weird, and their functioning would seem to be pretty awkward!

That's your own subjective interpretation skewing the perception. Many people look at penguins and do consider them awkward. (In fact, the word awkward itself comes from the outward appearance of the auk (http://mentock.home.mindspring.com/index2.htm), which is closely related to the penguin).


I'm trying to picture a species let's say an eighth of the way through.

And, I'm supposing, that if there were such a species, you'd naturally be trying to envision a species an eighth of the way through to that, whatever that means.

2002-Jun-16, 02:43 PM
On 2002-06-16 10:28, GrapesOfWrath wrote:


On 2002-06-16 09:13, nebularain wrote:


On 2002-06-15 21:17, thkaufm wrote:

An animal with half developed wings could neither run nor fly properly and would be quickly eliminated.

Penguins seem to have done just fine without flying or running.


As I read this I am thinking that if this was an ornithology forum, you would have had people jumping all over you. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif For one thing, evolutionists claim that penguins have lost their ability to fly, so using them as an argument for the feasibility of the pre-flight bird is an off target response. Secondly, if one is implying (based on the argument this post is based on) that penguins' wings are useless, that is simply not true.

Strawman. No one seems to be implying that a penguin's wings are useless. They are just an example of an animal with underdeveloped wings that has not been "quickly eliminated."


I really do want a scientific explanation for them. So far all the fossils of animals we have seen are in fully developed states - that is fully worth being classified as their own species (even though they can arguably appear transitory, they don't have to be classified as transitory, so to speak, because they have their own unique function). If evolution occurs as one DNA mutation at a time, unless it has been shown that DNA changes can produce a major change in one generation, the process of a species being altered into another has got to be pretty weird, and their functioning would seem to be pretty awkward!

That's your own subjective interpretation skewing the perception. Many people look at penguins and do consider them awkward. (In fact, the word awkward itself comes from the outward appearance of the auk (http://mentock.home.mindspring.com/index2.htm), which is closely related to the penguin).


I'm trying to picture a species let's say an eighth of the way through.

And, I'm supposing, that if there were such a species, you'd naturally be trying to envision a species an eighth of the way through to that, whatever that means.
Level 2 density June 16, 2002 6:39 A.M. PST

David Hall
2002-Jun-16, 02:45 PM
On 2002-06-16 09:13, nebularain wrote:
I'm trying to picture a species let's say an eighth of the way through. This would put it between the creature we know as dinosaur and the creatures we deem as being a birdlike dinosaur (i.e. Archaeopteryx). (BTW, I'm curious about the fossils found in China mentioned earlier; I tried doing a web search to see them, but I didn't know where to look or what phrase to put in the search engine to find what I was looking for. I would be interested in looking at them if anyone has a link.)

I'm really starting to apprectiate the TalkOrigins site. Here's the TalkOrigins page on the Archeopterix. Lots of info there.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/archaeopteryx/info.html

They mention there the Sinosauropterix, and two others, Protoarchaeopteryx robusta and Caudipteryx zoui which appear to be the Chinese discovery mentioned above.

Feathers do not have to have been developed specifically for flying. They could have been developed for insulative purposes. Only later would their usefulness in aerodynamics be discovered.

<font size="-1">(Added and changed some things, as I read closer)</font>
_________________
David Hall
"Dave... my mind is going... I can feel it... I can feel it." (http://www.occn.zaq.ne.jp/cuaea503/whatnots/2001_feel_it.wav)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David Hall on 2002-06-16 10:52 ]</font>

thkaufm
2002-Jun-16, 06:42 PM
so using them as an argument for the feasibility of the pre-flight bird is an off target response. Secondly, if one is implying (based on the argument this post is based on) that penguins' wings are useless, that is simply not true.

It was not off target.
I never said their wings were useless. Quite the opposite. I am using them as an example of a bird that survives without relying on running or flying.

I also never implied that they were any sort of pre-flight missing link.

If you had never seen a snake, would you imagine taking a lizard and losing it's arms and legs would result in a successful creature?

Just because an animal that fits as an evolutionary link between two others may seem an unlikely candidate for survival doesn't mean it can't happen.

Tom

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2002-Jun-17, 05:36 AM
On 2002-06-16 10:28, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
That's your own subjective interpretation skewing the perception. Many people look at penguins and do consider them awkward. (In fact, the word awkward itself comes from the outward appearance of the auk (http://mentock.home.mindspring.com/index2.htm), which is closely related to the penguin).


Not to be Rude, but Techincally, Penguins and Auks are only casually Related; any Similaries Between them, are a Result of Convergent Evolution.

BTW, Cool Link, (http://mentock.home.mindspring.com/index2.htm) Everyone, should check it out!

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2002-Jun-17, 05:41 AM
On 2002-06-16 14:42, thkaufm wrote:
If you had never seen a snake, would you imagine taking a lizard and losing it's arms and legs would result in a successful creature?

Just because an animal that fits as an evolutionary link between two others may seem an unlikely candidate for survival doesn't mean it can't happen.


Yeah, especially since they Lost their Eyes and Ears, as well; in Fact, they All, still Lack Ears, and Some, like the Blind Snake, Still, can't See!

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2002-Jun-17, 05:47 AM
And here's to my Impending, Bad Apprenticeship /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Kiss Newbiehood, Goodbye /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif

And it Only Took me, a little more than a Week, that's gotta be a Record; Ach, alas, I have No Life /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_redface.gif

nebularain
2002-Jun-17, 03:04 PM
On 2002-06-16 14:42, thkaufm wrote:

Secondly, if one is implying (based on the argument this post is based on) that penguins' wings are useless, that is simply not true.

I never said their wings were useless. Quite the opposite. I am using them as an example of a bird that survives without relying on running or flying.

I also never implied that they were any sort of pre-flight missing link.



I appologize. I mis-understood your point.

Gramma loreto
2002-Jun-17, 04:44 PM
<blockquote>
On 2002-06-16 09:13, nebularain wrote:

So far all the fossils of animals we have seen are in fully developed states - that is fully worth being classified as their own species...
</blockquote>

This is both true and false. There are many examples of transitional forms in the fossil record. (As previously mentioned, see www.talkorigins.org) However, "transitional" is simply a relative term, as is "fully formed."

All species are transitional, that is, they are no longer what the used to be and are not yet what they will become...not counting those that are destined for extinction.

Similarly, all species are fully formed at any given moment in a stable environment...that is, they are adapted for their particular environment, having evolved to become so. On the other hand, none of us are really "fully formed" in the long run since things are bound to change, bringing new evolutionary pressures to bear.

Alas, I'm guilty of being OT yet again. I also encourage you to check out talkorigins.org. It is arguably the best online source of information about evolution. You'll find articles that specifically address many of the questions and misunderstandings in your post.

Caryn
2002-Jun-17, 09:04 PM
The likelihood of the chance formation of even the simplest protein moecule from inanimate matter is a one with 40,000 noughts after it. These figures are big enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution forever!" (Sir Fred Hoyle). "In the future evolution will be laughed at.
Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could have been accepted with the credulity that
it has. This age is the most credulous in history!" (Malcolm Muggeridge).

SpacedOut
2002-Jun-17, 09:13 PM
On 2002-06-17 17:04, Caryn wrote:
The likelihood of the chance formation of even the simplest protein moecule from inanimate matter is a one with 40,000 noughts after it.

I've heard this before - please provide backup.

Prince
2002-Jun-17, 09:24 PM
Miller's passing a spark through a mixture of gases formed simple amino acids but they are only the very simplest of 'building blocks' used in the formation of
larger organic molecules.
They must be caught in a cold trap to prevent the spark from destroying them.
A reducing (non oxygen) atmosphere is necessary. Any amino acids forming would have been destroyed by the ultra-violet rays of the Sun. These conditions would not have occurred in nature.Even allowing millions of years, there has still been insufficient time or material in the whole universe for very complex organic molecules to have formed BY CHANCE.

SpacedOut
2002-Jun-17, 09:41 PM
On 2002-06-17 17:24, Prince wrote:
Miller's passing a spark through a mixture of gases formed simple amino acids but they are only the very simplest of 'building blocks' used in the formation of
larger organic molecules.
They must be caught in a cold trap to prevent the spark from destroying them.
A reducing (non oxygen) atmosphere is necessary. Any amino acids forming would have been destroyed by the ultra-violet rays of the Sun. These conditions would not have occurred in nature.Even allowing millions of years, there has still been insufficient time or material in the whole universe for very complex organic molecules to have formed BY CHANCE.

I've heard this one before as well - where's the science to back it up? For example you can't just say the UV from the sun would destroy it, the statement needs support.

[fixed bbcode]

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SpacedOut on 2002-06-17 17:42 ]</font>

Karl
2002-Jun-17, 10:08 PM
On 2002-06-17 17:41, SpacedOut wrote:

I've heard this one before as well - where's the science to back it up? For example you can't just say the UV from the sun would destroy it, the statement needs support.



Lots of evidence supports an early reducing atmosphere, banded iron formations for instance. Whether lighning created amino acids were as important as meteorite carried sources is where the discussion is these days.

Silas
2002-Jun-17, 11:13 PM
On 2002-06-17 17:04, Caryn wrote:
The likelihood of the chance formation of even the simplest protein moecule from inanimate matter is a one with 40,000 noughts after it.


Even Dr. Henry Morris, of the Creation Research Institute, only put those odds at one with 100 noughts after it.

You might want to correspond with him on this.

Silas

DaveC
2002-Jun-18, 05:58 AM
On 2002-06-17 17:04, Caryn wrote:
The likelihood of the chance formation of even the simplest protein moecule from inanimate matter is a one with 40,000 noughts after it. These figures are big enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution forever!" (Sir Fred Hoyle). "In the future evolution will be laughed at.
Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could have been accepted with the credulity that
it has. This age is the most credulous in history!" (Malcolm Muggeridge).


Of course, these "odds" can't be calculated at all - any more than one can calculate the "odds" that a creator did it all. Quoting an astronomer and a writer doesn't add to the crediility of this position at all.

This is creationist pseudoscience which only appeals to those without enough education or knowledge to recognize it for the nonsense it is.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DaveC on 2002-06-18 02:12 ]</font>

beskeptical
2002-Jun-18, 06:31 AM
All this time I thought the TalkOrigins site would be against evolution. Just goes to show ya, quit making assumptions.

OK, lets try to clear up a few issues here.

nebularain wrote on 2002-06-16 10:06 :
"... science should be doing some serious investigations into it, because this is very powerful stuff, and we should't risk being blind-sided by the potential for such a magnificent transformation of a species to occur again. Besides, if geneticists had the key to this process, imagine what could be accomplished with such knowledge!"

They are and they are. What do you think bioengineering is all about?

On 2-6-17 Caryn said:
"The likelihood of the chance formation of even the simplest protein moecule from inanimate matter is a one with 40,000 noughts after it. These figures are big enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution forever!" (Sir Fred Hoyle). "In the future evolution will be laughed at.
Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could have been accepted with the credulity that"

I'm sorry, but Sir Fred will have to check that laugh. Gerald Joyce at the Scripps Research Institute, along with other scientists, started with RNA molecules in the late 80s and replicated it into 10 trillion variations. He mixed those with DNA molecules. He took the few RNA molecules that interacted with the DNA and made 10 trillion more variations. After 2 years he had close to the same RNA-DNA interactions that occur in cells today.

No matter how many 'naughts' you put after your probability calculation, a billion years is time enough for molecules to combine into RNA and DNA sequences. RNA mutates more readily than DNA. DNA needs RNA to replicate in mass and to manufacture proteins. A billion years is enough time for the RNA to mutate randomly, on its own, into the combinations Joyce produced in the lab. While Joyce sped up the process, he did not do anything that couldn't have happened naturally given enough time.

Research has found ways to speed up the process and the same 27 generations of RNA that took 2 years to develop can now be done in 2 hours.

I'm trying to tell you all that biology has been transformed in the last 10-20 years. We know how to read the digital genetic code of the DNA that controls the formation and existence of life. It can be manipulated. It can be replicated. It can be mapped out from the first organisms to the current ones. Genetic lines can be traced back to show all those transitional phases you all keep arguing about. We know exactly how a feather and a wing evolved.

As you continue to claim the hypothesis will not be valid because of this and that, I tell you the hypothesis has been confirmed. If you don't take the time to learn about the science of DNA and evolution, you can only argue from a point of ignorance.

I am not saying you are ignorant, only that you are claiming expertise in a field you are not an expert in.

I would not try to tell an astronomer that the Big Bang theory was right or wrong unless I took the time to find out where the science was today on that matter.

Genetic research has shown the the family tree is really more bushlike. There are 3 main branches, Archaea, Bacteria, and, Eukaryotes. All mammals are at the tip of the Eukaryotes' line. Most variation in our genes occurred at the single cell level. The genetic differences between hair and feathers, between wings and arms, between bipeds and quadripeds is incredibly small.

The research has gotten that far and is moving at the speed of the information age. If you really think evolution has not yet been proven, you have a lot of reading to do!

SpacedOut
2002-Jun-18, 10:52 AM
I would just like to know where Prince and Caryn found their ”FACTS". I heard the one about the probability of the chance formation of “life” being 1 with 40,000 zeros (or some such crazy number) after it by accident while channel surfing one late night when I couldn’t sleep. It was on one of the televangelist networks.

The arguments that the laboratory experiments that formed amino acids weren’t valid (wrong atmosphere, too much radiation from the sun, PH of ocean wrong, etc) popped up almost as soon as the experiment’s results were published, but I have never seen any scientific research to back it up. All we ever see is the “hand waving” that spontaneous formation of the seeds of live is impossible. If there is real evidence that to back up these statements, I would certainly like to see it.

REAL scientific investigation with REAL results please.

[fixed bbcode]

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SpacedOut on 2002-06-18 06:53 ]</font>

Jim
2002-Jun-18, 01:42 PM
On 2-6-17 Caryn said:
"The likelihood of the chance formation of even the simplest protein moecule from inanimate matter is a one with 40,000 noughts after it. These figures are big enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution forever!" (Sir Fred Hoyle).

Are you familiar with "odds?" Just because something has only a one in one trillion - or one zillion - chance of happening doesn't mean it will not happen before that trillionth - or zillionth - incident. "Odds" are simply an expression of how likely it is something will happen, not an indicator of whether it will or won't.

How do you explain the amino acids detected in nebulae?
http://www.angelfire.com/on2/daviddarling/aminospace.htm
http://www.astrobiology.com/adastra/ex.astra.html
http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0328/p11s01-stss.html
http://amesnews.arc.nasa.gov/releases/2002/02images/nebula/nebula.html
http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/AAO/local/www/jab/astrobiology/chirality.html

Jim
2002-Jun-18, 01:50 PM
nebularain: So far all the fossils of animals we have seen are in fully developed states - that is fully worth being classified as their own species (even though they can arguably appear transitory, they don't have to be classified as transitory, so to speak, because they have their own unique function)

Please define what you mean by "transitory fossil."

I really thought I had supplied some here:
No intermediary (whale) fossils?

How about rodhocetus, durodon and basilosaurus?

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/09/0919_walkingwhale.html

http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/beasts/photo/photo2_zoom4.html

http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/beasts/photo/photo_zoom2.html

Wiley
2002-Jun-18, 09:23 PM
My apologies for the late reply; I missed this post.



On 2002-06-14 22:41, nebularain wrote:



On 2002-06-13 11:06, Wiley wrote:
I've always wondered why Christians who want Intelligent Design as it disproves the kinder, gentler God (post Isaiah). If a baby bird falls out of the nest, he will die. The mother bird will not recongonize him. Babies in the nest are mine, babies outside are not. Also consider the wasps who lay their eggs in the still living body of a tarantula. The larvae will slowly eat all the spider's non-vital organs. It takes about agonizing three months for the wasp larvae to finally kill the tarantula. If there is a "Designer", he's one cruel and twisted SOB.


OK, I thought you guys wanted to keep religion out of this scientific discussion. So what's this post for? I may have been born yesterday, but this looks like a theological argument to me. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif


I did not mean it as theological argument, but a theological question. I truly don't understand why Christian's would embrace ID because it raises deeper and more troubling issues about the nature of God than does evolution. The more active role God plays in nature, the more accountable she is.



Well, all right, if you really want to know an answer to this, let me refer you to the book of Job chapters 38-42. If you have a problem with that explanation of things, then complain to the source. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

While I love Job for it language and thorny theological implications, it is probably not the best book to convince someone that God is not a "cruel and twisted SOB". And Job 38-42, God's explanation is a blantant appeal to authority. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif



Of course, I'm going to have to ask you about your bird argument, too, because in my experience, the adult bird will try to still try to feed the baby out of the nest if it knows the baby is there, but it does end up becoming a lost cause because it is just too unprotected on the ground.


Fair enough. My sources: Bryan Nelson's "Galapagos: Islands of Birds", Stevie Gould's "Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes", and numerous Nature and National Geographic shows. This "inside the nest is my chick" is what allows the cuckoo bird to survive. (For those who don't know, the cuckoo will leave its egg in another bird's nest. When the cuckoo egg hatches, the little cuckoo will knock the other eggs/nestlings out of the nest. The unsuspecting mama bird will raise the cuckoo has her own and ignore her own offspring.) This does not apply to fledglings, only to nestlings (pre-feathers). Fledglings are learning to fly, so it's not uncommon to find them out of the nest. Nelson's book describes how the Booby fledglings must learn a "dance" in order to be accepted back into the nest; nestlings, who have not learned the "dance", would not be let back in.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Wiley on 2002-06-18 17:26 ]</font>

nebularain
2002-Jun-19, 01:47 PM
On 2002-06-18 09:50, Jim wrote:

Please define what you mean by "transitory fossil."



First, I guess I ought to say, "Thank-you," for not being cynical in your response/question - well, even though your signature quote does ring in that direction. If it's worth anything, I don't follow "creationism" because I'm following some scientific clueless tv preacher. It comes from my core belief in a Creator God, and that belief comes out of my life's experiences. I know science deals with what can be observed, measured and calculated. But why do we have to "throw out of existance" so to speak those things that cannot be observed, measured and calculated? What about cognitive thought (one branch of psychology, behaviorism, does throw that out of the equation for the above reason) or love or loyalty or selfishness or enmity? No, I can't present my reason for belief in God in an observable, measurable way. But I do know the things I have been through, and it's been beyond enough to convince me. (Please no one send back any cuts on my relying on my experiences; you have no idea the things I have been through - no idea at all.)

This seems to be the biggest problem with the Evolution vs. Creationism debate. It always turns into an atheism vs. theism debate. But then again, isn't that what it's always been about?

(For the poster who wanted to tell me the "she" is an "SOB" - please let's not go there on this board! This whole debate has gotten ugly enough as it is.)

But to answer your question, I was having trouble trying to explain what I meant as I wrote it. Let me try this approach. A species evolving into another is a transitionary process. Have you ever seen those cartoons or sci-fi movies where a human or other creature transforms into another? Imagine breaking apart the transition frame by frame and freezing the process at each frame. Since evolution is a process of random genetic mutations passed on to successive generations which continue to randomly genetically mutate towards a transformation, then the decendants will be living their lives in these "frame by frame piece" states, if you will. If I were to diagram out the decendants making note of the decendant that had the genetic mutation in it (assuming, of course that the mutation was a dominant trait for this to work), and just for the sake of argument say that each pair of parents reproduces three offspring that make it to maturation and reproduction (three so that the population actually grows!), I would find that there were more decendants with the one one mutation than there were with the second mutation and more of them than those with the third mutation and so on. In the fossil record, we see the population the mutation began with, even if we don't know exactly which species of creature the process began in, and we see the "original mammal" or the "ancient whale" or whatever. But the creatures somewhere in those "frame by frame" states, which there should have been more of, aren't seen. Even if you don't agree with what I'm saying, can you at least understand what I am thinking?

It's like the whale thing. If a land animal is going to evolve into an ocean animal, a lot of changes have to be made. Legs have to flatten out into flippers, tail has to transform into a paddle-like structure, body structure with distinct head and neck and torso has to transform into a body structure that blends or bloats those parts together, nose hase to move from the front of the face to the back of the neck (boy, I would love to see the phenotypical expression of that mutation as it took place!). In the process of all this, the physiology has to transform as well. Salt-water creatures have to deal with the osmolarity pressure of their salty environment to contend with, so that had to have changed as well in this transforming species. Along this line, the transforming creatures had to begin being able to drink salt water as opposed to fresh water. Are there any animals that we know of that can survive drinking both fresh and salt water? Can a transformation like that occur in one mutation or successive mutations in a way the creature can actually survive in the process? Of course, the mutation has to occur at just the right moment or time frame to fit in with the mutation of its ability to live in the salty water. All of these mutations had to have in some way worked together to enable the decentants that were slowly mutating over the thousands or millions of years to survive in transito. (One mutation alters the leg, the second mutation alters the nose, the third begins altering the physiology...?) Then to add further to the complications, as the first web page you specifically had mentioned states:
"that whales descended from the group of animals known as artiodactyls, whose members include sheep, cows, pigs, camels, deer, and hippos." All of these animals are herbivores. Whales are carnivores. How/why did this happen? Changing environmental factors.... Huh? If a herd of sheep were palced in an environment suffering a long enough drought that green plants were hard to find, do you see a sheep giving birth to a lamb that starts chasing and eating mice, or do you see all the sheep eventually dying from starvation. I see the latter. I see the same senario with these prehistoric creatures.

And in all of this, there still remains the question of how random genetic mutations resulted in organized structures? How the DNA knows to "respond to environmental changes" to begin with? How one random mutation built upon another random mutation that built upon another random mutation, and so on and so forth, but they all fit together and they were all leading towards an animal of one species generating a whole new species? No guiding hand in all this? No genetic blue print encoded into an embryo (if so, from where? and how?) to order the DNA of successive generations follow?

"Millions of years," yeah it all seems feasible enough, but step-by-step it doesn't seem so easily believable. I know you all don't agree, but I hope you can at least understand to some degree my train of thought. Well, maybe I really am asking for too much.

(Edited to add: Back to getting eaten by the sharks!)_________________
o/ Nebulas & Rain
“I haven't been droppin' no eaves, sir, honest.”

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: nebularain on 2002-06-19 09:48 ]</font>

DaveC
2002-Jun-19, 03:14 PM
On 2002-06-19 09:47, nebularain wrote:
A species evolving into another is a transitionary process. Since evolution is a process of random genetic mutations passed on to successive generations which continue to randomly genetically mutate towards a transformation, then the decendants will be living their lives in these "frame by frame piece" states. . .


I think the problem you are having is based on a restrictive interpretation of "mutation". There are likely several causes of mutant offspring - damage to the genetic code caused by chemical or radiation exposure, "cross-breeding" between closely related species, and the one that I believe is most responsible for evolutionary change, malfunction of regulator genes. Let me explain. All living creatures on earth share a common genetic structure - that is they all contain DNA as the blueprint for what they are. Within the DNA of living things are the genes that tell the original zygote how it will develop into an organism that looks just like its parents - that is, specialized cells develop in response to regulator genes turning on or off. Atavism is probably a result of regulator gene malfunction and indicates how a large physical change can occur in a single generation. When the regulator gene malfunction creates a "mutation" with an enhanced ability to survive, it will displace, or at the very least co-exist with other lifeforms occupying the same environmental niche. So while it's possible that, in the example you used, the whales nostrils moved to the top of its head a millimeter at a time, it is also possible that the change occurred in fairly large discrete steps.



Are there any animals that we know of that can survive drinking both fresh and salt water?


Sure ther are. Salmon live in the ocean and spawn in fresh water streams. They can also be introduced into fresh water as fry and survive quite well there for their whole lives. Lots of land animals can drink very salty water if necessary. It's a very common ability among rodents.



And in all of this, there still remains the question of how random genetic mutations resulted in organized structures? How the DNA knows to "respond to environmental changes" to begin with?


DNA doesn't respond to environmental change in the way you seem to have concluded. DNA is not intelligent - it doesn't decide to change a creature's physical features to enhance its chance of surviving. Changes occur - the vast majority of which confer no survival advantage - and where there is an advantage, those changes may survive to be passed on to subsequent generations. I just don't see any mystery in this.

(edited to fix quotes)



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DaveC on 2002-06-20 10:17 ]</font>

David Hall
2002-Jun-19, 03:16 PM
Well, there's a new twist on the debate that I'm sure we'll be hearing too much of from the creationist side. It's explained in this New York Times article.

http://nytimes.com/2002/06/18/science/life/18MOTH.html

The famous example of evolution, the peppered moth which changed from light to dark and back again, has been shown to have had a slight flaw in the methodology. It turns out that the moth does not generally hang about on the bark of trees. Photos that were taken were actually of dead moths that had been pinned there.

Now, to be sure, this does not invalidate the whole example. There was indeed a change and it does seem to have been due to pollution levels. It just can't be tied clearly to the changing color of the trees due to lichen growth. But I'm sure the creationists will overlook this little fact too in their zeal to show evolutionists discredited. Sigh.

(addendum)

Welll, I snooped around a bit, and it seems like this isn't exactly new news. I just hadn't heard about it before. The NYT article doesn't make it that clear about when this was noticed, and I assumed (silly me) that this had to be relatively new.

Oh, well.
_________________
David Hall
"Dave... my mind is going... I can feel it... I can feel it." (http://www.occn.zaq.ne.jp/cuaea503/whatnots/2001_feel_it.wav)


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David Hall on 2002-06-19 11:32 ]</font>

Gramma loreto
2002-Jun-19, 05:18 PM
On 2002-06-19 09:47, nebularain wrote:

This seems to be the biggest problem with the Evolution vs. Creationism debate. It always turns into an atheism vs. theism debate. But then again, isn't that what it's always been about?

No, that's not what it's always been about...at least not when it comes to the science behind the Theory of Evolution (TOE). The TOE does not address the existence or non-existence of a God, god, or gods. If a discussion about the TOE degenerates into debate of atheism vs. theism, then it's because the participants have agendas along those lines.


In the fossil record, we see the population the mutation began with, even if we don't know exactly which species of creature the process began in, and we see the "original mammal" or the "ancient whale" or whatever. But the creatures somewhere in those "frame by frame" states, which there should have been more of, aren't seen.

There are, in fact, many examples of transitional fossils. We've mentioned them in previous posts. One problem is that fossilization is a rare process that's exceedingly poor at keeping complete records. Another problem is that no matter how many transitional fossils there are, naysayers of evolution demand to see transitions between the transitions, until we reach the "frame by frame" concept you mentioned. Another thing to consider is that evolutionary change may not be all that gradual. See Punctuated Equilibrium on TalkOrigins.org.


It's like the whale thing. If a land animal is going to evolve into an ocean animal, a lot of changes have to be made...Can a transformation like that occur in one mutation or successive mutations in a way the creature can actually survive in the process?

The short answer is yes, because survival (and differential reproductive success) is how these changes get passed on.


Of course, the mutation has to occur at just the right moment or time frame to fit in with the mutation of its ability to live in the salty water. All of these mutations had to have in some way worked together to enable the decentants that were slowly mutating over the thousands or millions of years to survive in transito.

"Of course," Natural selection weeds out the unsuccessful mutations so all that we're left with are the ones that " had to have in some way worked together."


"that whales descended from the group of animals known as artiodactyls, whose members include sheep, cows, pigs, camels, deer, and hippos." All of these animals are herbivores. Whales are carnivores.


Some cetaceans are carnivores, some (planktivores) are not. The artiodactyl connection (in my current understanding) to whales is not yet confirmed.


And in all of this, there still remains the question of how random genetic mutations resulted in organized structures?

DNA itself directs the form of organized structures. My girlfriend has a cat with six toes on each paw...the result of a random mutation and all of those toes are quite well organized.


How the DNA knows to "respond to environmental changes" to begin with?

It doesn't. Mutation happens all the time. Most of the time they pass in and out of the gene pool without any long-term effect effect on the species. However, when a mutation results in a reproductive advantage, it can result in evolutionary change.


...but they all fit together and they were all leading towards an animal of one species generating a whole new species?

Evolution has no direction other than toward reproductive success.

DaveC
2002-Jun-19, 05:40 PM
On 2002-06-19 13:18, Gramma loreto wrote:

Evolution has no direction other than toward reproductive success.


Loreto, you summed it up much better than I did. Creationists often have difficulty understanding that evolution isn't directed at achieving a particular result. The tendency is to compare it with the concept of a Creator that sees the desired result and creates it. Evolution is simply a sequence of changes, some of which produce a successful organism, but most of which produce a dead end. In a sense it's trial and error, but without any intelligent assessment that allows the same error to be avoided in future.

Six toed cats seem to be fairly common. We had one when I was a kid - the sixth toe occupied the position of a thumb on each front paw - making the paws look like mitts. In fact we named her Mittens for that reason.
I assume that if six-toed cats bred together, the odds of six-toed offspring would be increased. And if six toes gave those cats a survival advantage over five toed cats, in time all (domestic) cats would have six toes.

Gramma loreto
2002-Jun-19, 06:55 PM
On 2002-06-19 13:40, DaveC wrote:

Six toed cats seem to be fairly common. We had one when I was a kid - the sixth toe occupied the position of a thumb on each front paw - making the paws look like mitts.


Hehe...my girlfriend's cat (Pippen) has the "thumbs" too, making them look a bit like boxing gloves.

They do seem pretty common as mutations go. When I was a kid, a friend had a cat with NINE toes on one front paw and six on the other. They named him Clyde for the Budweiser Clydesdales.

Jim
2002-Jun-19, 08:01 PM
On 2002-06-19 09:47, nebularain wrote:


On 2002-06-18 09:50, Jim wrote:
Please define what you mean by "transitory fossil."


First, I guess I ought to say, "Thank-you," for not being cynical in your response/question - well, even though your signature quote does ring in that direction.


You'll find that quote at the bottom of just about every message I post (unless I forget or leave it out as "clutter"). It is not directed at you.

The question was not meant to be cynical. We need to establish the groundrules before we go too far.



...I ... follow "creationism" because ... (of) my core belief in a Creator God... But why do we have to "throw out of existance" ...


Evolution does not require you to "throw out" your belief in God. Nor does it demand that you believe in God. Evolution is, indeed, godless, but not atheistic.



No, I can't present my reason for belief in God in an observable, measurable way.


That's the nice thing about religion. It depends on faith and does not require evidence. Science, OTOH, demands evidence.



... A species evolving into another is a transitionary process. ... Imagine breaking apart the transition frame by frame and freezing the process at each frame.


But, by this definition, we will never find any transitional fossils, because every time we find a Fossil AA to fit between Fossils A and B, you can make a demand for a fossil between A and AA and between AA and B.

You may have to settle for having a few gaps in the record. But that doesn't diminish the evidence or the conclusion from that evidence.



... Since evolution is a process of random genetic mutations passed on to successive generations which continue to randomly genetically mutate towards a transformation, then the decendants will be living their lives in these "frame by frame piece" states, if you will.


Actually, this is exactly what the fossil records of many lines show... a steady progression from an early species to a current one.



... we see the "original mammal" or the "ancient whale" or whatever. But the creatures somewhere in those "frame by frame" states, which there should have been more of, aren't seen. Even if you don't agree with what I'm saying, can you at least understand what I am thinking?


I think you are muddled, to be frank. To go back a few paragraphs, you are shown a fossil record and then demand still more fossils. You seem to want a fossil that shows each and every mutation.

To use your own analogy of a cartoon, you do not have a frame showing every, single change. Cartoons are based on the ability of the eye to see "frames" of movement every 1/16 of a second, so the cartoon breaks down movement to that; you - and your brain - must fill in the gaps.



It's like the whale thing. If a land animal is going to evolve into an ocean animal, a lot of changes have to be made.


I earlier offered some "whale fossils" but you seem to want more. Okay.

Here’s a layman’s discussion of the transition from land to sea mammals.

http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/9917/evolution/whales.html

<center>http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/9917/evolution/whales.jpg</center>

Check the link to TalkOrigins at the bottom of the page for more on the fossil record.

Here's another discussion of whale evolution. Note especially the section on Archaeocetes’ teeth; this addresses your question about the diet of whales. Check the link to Thewissen’s site at the bottom of the page, too.

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/mammal/cetacea/cetacean.html



...nose hase to move from the front of the face to the back of the neck...


Point of clarification: top of the head, not back of the neck.



And in all of this, there still remains the question of how random genetic mutations resulted in organized structures? How the DNA knows to "respond to environmental changes" to begin with?


DNA doesn't know anything. It doesn't respond to anything. The changes happen - as you said - at random. Those that enhance survival are passed to succeeding generations; those that degrade survival die out; those that are neutral to survival may or may not continue.



No guiding hand in all this?


Of course, there is... survival.

_________________
<font color=000099>Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.</font>
Isaac Asimov

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Jim on 2002-06-19 16:07 ]</font>

DaveC
2002-Jun-19, 09:03 PM
On 2002-06-19 14:55, Gramma loreto wrote:
Hehe...my girlfriend's cat (Pippen) has the "thumbs" too, making them look a bit like boxing gloves.


Can Pippen use the "thumb" as an opposable digit? Our cat was actually able to grip things in her paws by squeezing them between the "thumb" and the other "fingers". It was one of the earliest points in my life that I became aware of how evolution might work to fundamentally change a physical characteristic. When I think about it, the curious thing isn't the existence of the "thumb" so much as the fact that her brain was wired to use it - in a sense two mutations that were co-ordinated.

Prince
2002-Jun-19, 10:35 PM
PEPPERED MOTH

There are two varieties - the light and the dark. Elimination of the light variety is
NOT evolution. They are still Peppered Moths. Kettlewell's experiments were
specifically designed to get the results he wanted and were seriously flawed.
Results contradicting his evolutionary views were ignored.

beskeptical
2002-Jun-20, 12:53 AM
On 2002-06-19 18:35, Prince wrote:
Kettlewell's experiments were
specifically designed to get the results he wanted and were seriously flawed.
Results contradicting his evolutionary views were ignored.


Ahem... Ignored the evidence did we?

The posters here have presented lots of very good information for anyone who really wants to understand how evolution works. If one gives up trying to disprove or discount the process of evolution, a little bit of reading on how the process works will explain all the 'but how' questions.

I'd like to mention two fun facts from a U of WA lecture by Mary-Claire King, a respected geneticist.

In regards to the black moth but in another line: Dark skin, (human), has a clear association with latitude. It takes thousands of years for dark skin to evolve when subjected to intense sun, and thousands of years for light skin to evolve in latitudes with more indirect sun. Dark skin evolved twice. Original humans in Africa had dark skin. Migrating north, human skin lightened. Migrating south again into Australia, dark skin evolved again. [This can be shown with research on human migration that mitochondrial DNA studies have revealed. (NOT intended to start a 'how valid is mitochondrial DNA research?' thread, please.)]

If light skinned humans migrate to the equatorial areas today, they need hats and sun screen. If dark skinned humans migrate to far north or far south latitudes, they need vitamin D supplements. Our ability to intervene with technology will have a very interesting effect on evolution.

The second interesting finding has an impact on one aspect of evolutionary forces. They are not always immediate.

There is a particular genetic mutation that occurs in a small percentage of persons of Northern European descent. It results in a particular missing protein on the surface of their white blood cells. Without that protein, the HIV virus cannot enter the cells and the person with this defect is resistant if not immune to HIV infection.

What is most interesting, is that this genetic trait arose and multiplied in a population that was not exposed to any HIV virus at the time. In fact, the populations where HIV was first discovered in humans have 0% of this trait. So genetic changes that are neutral to survival can occur before they are useful. By random luck, it has now come in handy for some folks.

Gramma loreto
2002-Jun-20, 06:27 AM
On 2002-06-19 17:03, DaveC wrote:

Can Pippen use the "thumb" as an opposable digit?

Yes, it's quite functional and like your cat he's pretty good at gripping things. The running joke around here is that Pippen could do this or that around the house (let himself out, do the laundry, etc.) because ya know, he's got "thumbs."

Gramma loreto
2002-Jun-20, 06:31 AM
On 2002-06-19 18:35, Prince wrote:
PEPPERED MOTH

There are two varieties - the light and the dark. Elimination of the light variety is
NOT evolution.

Then you don't understand evolution. While methodology of the study may have had flaws, a change in the population did occur. In other words, there was a change in allele frequencies in the population...which is evolution. But alas, I understand the naysayers wouldn't be satisfied unless they turned into frogs or some such nonsense.

Caryn
2002-Jun-20, 07:47 AM
"Evolutionism is a fairy tale for grownups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless". (Professor Louis Bounoure, Director of the Strasbourg Zoological Museum).

"The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution" (Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard).

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2002-Jun-20, 09:56 AM
On 2002-06-20 03:47, Caryn wrote:
"The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution" (Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard).


You know, I think that there Should be, a Moratorium on Stephen Jay Gould Quotes, by Both Sides, for at least, The Near-Term Future.

I mean, Sheesh, The Man isn't Even Cold, yet!

sts60
2002-Jun-20, 12:29 PM
Caryn wrote:
"Evolutionism is a fairy tale for grownups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless". (Professor Louis Bounoure, Director of the Strasbourg Zoological Museum).

"The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution" (Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard).
Caryn, I suggest you do a little research before throwing out random context-less quotes by scientists as "evidence" against evolution.

Gould himself said, Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists--whether through design or stupidity, I do not know--as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups.(Emphasis added)

I refer you to http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/#s2 for more information on out-of-context, selective, and otherwise misleading use of quotes by creationists. Re the Strasbourg quote, check out http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/3/part12.html.

Please educate yourself on this; don't be taken in by a deliberate strategy of deception, and don't rely on canned attacks by idealogues. Science isn't done by tossing out quotes; it takes real work.

Caryn
2002-Jun-20, 02:18 PM
This by Gould, Evolution's main savant RIP, is perfectly clear, whether taken in or out of context!

"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference,
howeve rreasonable, not the evidence of fossils. Yet Darwin was so wedded to gradualism that he wagered his entire
theory on a denial of this literal record:

'The geological record is extremely imperfect and this fact will to a large extent explain why we do not find interminable varieties,
connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps. He who rejects these views on the nature of the geological record, will rightly reject my whole theory'.

Darwin's argument still persists as the favored escape of most paleontologists from the embarrassment of a record that seems to show so little of evolution. In exposing its
cultural and methodological roots, I wish in no way to impugn the potential validity of gradualism.I wish only to point out that it was a never "seen" in the rocks. Paleontologists have paid an exorbitant price for Darwin's argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of
life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study" (S.J.Gould, "Evolutions Erratic Pace", Natural History 86:5 p.14).

sts60
2002-Jun-20, 03:36 PM
Caryn,

what exactly are you trying to say? That a purely gradual view of evolution is incomplete? If so, you should be aware that the modern evolutionary synthesis has moved beyond that in response to theoretical and empirical discoveries. (Heck, even Darwin didn't think evolution was a uniformly smooth, gradual process.)

In other words, the consensus of evolutionary scientists is that evolution proceeds at more than one rate in time, and sometimes major shifts occur relatively quickly.

If you are attempting to say that Gould thought today's living creatures are not the result of evolution, you have very much misunderstood his work.

Again, science is not done by throwing out quotes. It's done by matching what's theorized against what's known, and by attempting to find more information both for and against a theory. That's why science is a useful tool for getting closer to the truth about the natural world; it is a process of discovery with a self-correction mechanism.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: sts60 on 2002-06-20 11:46 ]</font>

Karl
2002-Jun-20, 04:01 PM
On 2002-06-20 03:47, Caryn wrote:
"Evolutionism is a fairy tale for grownups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless". (Professor Louis Bounoure, Director of the Strasbourg Zoological Museum).



The beginning of the quotation, "Evolution is a fairy tale for adults" is not from Bounoure but from Jean Rostand, a much more famous French biologist (he was a member of the Academy of Sciences of the French Academy). The precise quotation is as follows: "Transformism is a fairy tale for adults." (Age Nouveau, [a French periodical] February 1959, p. 12). But Rostand has also written that "Transformism may be considered as accepted, and no scientist, no philosopher, no longer discusses [questions - ED.] the fact of evolution." (L'Evolution des Especes [i.e., The Evolution of the Species], Hachette, p. 190). Jean Rostand was ... an atheist.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/3/part12.html

Gramma loreto
2002-Jun-20, 04:12 PM
Good reply sts60, you beat me to it. If I may, I also wanted to re-post the link regarding the Bounoure "fairy tale" quote. The pesky period at the end broke the link.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/3/part12.html

sts60
2002-Jun-20, 04:16 PM
Gramma Loreto,

thanks, and post away (not that anyone needs permission, especially not from me).

Anchorage! I have family there. I hear the weather's been great.

DaveC
2002-Jun-20, 04:22 PM
I suspect Gould would be spinning in his grave to think that his statements about an incomplete fossil record are still being used by creationists as an argument against evolution. The theory of punctuated equilibrium, which Gould embraced, is just an alternative evolutionary process to the smooth transition that Darwin implied was what the fossil record should show. Gould was not a creationist, and in fact said if he was forced to choose whether a deity exists or doesn't, he'd come down on the side of one doesn't.

I don't understand the point of quoting Gould as an argument for creation. That's not what he was saying - although I will admit it was often hard to know exactly what he WAS saying!

Gramma loreto
2002-Jun-20, 04:35 PM
On 2002-06-20 10:18, Caryn wrote:
This by Gould, Evolution's main savant RIP, is perfectly clear, whether taken in or out of context!

<blockquote>"The supposed lack of intermediary forms in the fossil record remains the fundamental canard of current antievolutionists. Such transitional forms are scarce, to be sure, and for two sets of reasons - geological (the gappiness of the fossil record) and biological (the episodic nature of evolutionary change, including patterns of punctuated equilibrium and transition within small populations of limited geological extent). But paleontologists have discovered several superb examples of intermediary forms and sequences, more than enough to convince any fair-minded skeptic about the reality of life's physical geneology."

Gould, S.J. 1994. Hooking Leviathon by its past. Natural History, May 1994

Gramma loreto
2002-Jun-20, 04:40 PM
On 2002-06-20 12:16, sts60 wrote:
Gramma Loreto,

thanks, and post away (not that anyone needs permission, especially not from me).

Anchorage! I have family there. I hear the weather's been great.

We had several days of glorious, sunny (except for haze from the McGrath wildfire) weather last week but we're back to overcast and stiff winds. We need the rain though.

Caryn
2002-Jun-20, 06:14 PM
"The experiments show the efects of predation on the survival of the dark and of the normal forms of the Peppered Moth in a clean environment and in one polluted by smoke. The experiments beautifuly demonstrate natural selection - or survival of the fittest- in action, but they do not show evolution in progress, for however the populations may alter in their content of light, intermediate or dark forms, all the moths remain from beginning to end Biston Betularia!" (L.Harrison Matthews, introduction to "Darwin's Origin of the Species").

informant
2002-Jun-20, 07:25 PM
"Even the Devil can quote the Scriptures."
Philip K. Dick

Gramma loreto
2002-Jun-20, 07:29 PM
Handwaving (or quote mining) is not enough to establish that it's not evolution. Why don't you show why or how it's not?

The following quote refines my own statment in an earlier post:

<blockquote>The case of the pepper moth illustrates a change in the frequencies of alleles where the "black" allele increased relative to the "white" allele. By definition (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-definition.html), this is an example of evolution. Now, the question is "how did this change occur?". The evidence suggests that the change was due to natural selection or adaptation. Thus, in this case, it is evolution by natural selection.

Laurance A. Moran (http://bioinfo.med.utoronto.ca/faculty.inc.html#M), Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto
Source: TalkOrigins.org (http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/feedback/jan97.html)

Jim
2002-Jun-20, 07:47 PM
On 2002-06-20 14:14, Caryn wrote:
"... The experiments beautifuly demonstrate natural selection - or survival of the fittest- in action, but they do not show evolution in progress, for however the populations may alter in their content of light, intermediate or dark forms, all the moths remain from beginning to end Biston Betularia!" (L.Harrison Matthews, introduction to "Darwin's Origin of the Species").


Nope, he's wrong. Evolution is a change in traits that is passed from one generation to another (see the message and link above).

What Matthews seems to mean is not "evolution" but "speciation." Speciation would involve the dark moths and light moths forming separate communities that developed to the point they could no longer cross-breed.

Caryn
2002-Jun-20, 08:43 PM
"Instead of finding the gradual unfolding of life, what gelogists of Darwin's time and geologists of the present day actually find is a highly uneven or jerky record; that is
species appear in the sequence very suddenly, show little or no change during their existence in the record, then abruptly
go out of the record. And it is not always clear, in fact it's rarely clear, that the descendants were actually better adapted than their predecessors. In other words, biological mprovement is hard to find."
Dr David M. Raup,Curator of Geology, Field Museum of Natural history, Chicago
,'Conflicts between Darwin and
paleontology'. Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, vol. 50(1)p23.

CJSF
2002-Jun-20, 08:45 PM
YAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!

Can we get this back on some Astronomy related topic? The BA will lock this soon, to be sure.

CJSF

SpacedOut
2002-Jun-20, 08:51 PM
On 2002-06-17 17:04, Caryn wrote:
The likelihood of the chance formation of even the simplest protein moecule from inanimate matter is a one with 40,000 noughts after it.


Caryn, I asked once before. Could you please give us the source for this information? I would really like to know.

Caryn
2002-Jun-20, 08:57 PM
I believe it's in "Hoyle on Evolution", Nature, November 12 1981

nebularain
2002-Jun-21, 05:31 AM
On 2002-06-19 16:01, Jim wrote:
You'll find that quote at the bottom of just about every message I post (unless I forget or leave it out as "clutter"). It is not directed at you.

The question was not meant to be cynical. We need to establish the groundrules before we go too far.


I'm sorry. I started getting too defensive. And I lost track of my original purpose in my postings.

As I mentioned some time ago, I had taken a class that evaluated the comparitive study of origins. We were described the actual pieces of evidence that were out there and (such as light from stars), what scientists can extract from the data (such as calculating distance to the star, to include how they have learned to do this), and then were presented with the "mainstream" interpretation and some various alternative interpretations. With these alternatives, out teacher explained why these alternatives existed, and in some cases the proponents of the altrnatives had valid points behind theri reasoning (such as trying to cover up a whole left in the mainstream interpretation). With the inside of the Earth, he explained that no one really knows for sure what it is like because no one has ever been able to see it; but we can take various models of spherical objects (ping pong ball, tennis ball, orange, onion) and compare the pieces of evidence that we can gather (such as seismic readings) with these models to construct an image. In this case, the layered model (onion) best fits the data. Well, it all made sense the way he described it, and it seemed to me he did a fair job at keeping his discussions as neutral as possible. He even made us evaluate articles of opposing sides to the overall argument. From this class, my whole perspective on the issue had changed. I was basically forced to reconstruct my understanding of the origins of the universe and the world (I almost said "life, the universe, and everything" - hee!hee!) for the overall picture presented to me strong evidence against the traditional "6-day" creation theory, but it likewise, overall, presented, to me anyway, strong evidence against extreme form of evolution. The truth lying somewhere between the two made so much more sense, overall.

So, what is my point? The point is I have had the opportunity to take an empirical look into this whole debate and construct a view point that was more based upon my personal evaluation of the data and the various interpretations. I wonder how many people posting on this topic have ever performed any form of empirical search of the data and evaluated the interpretations (and there is much more than evolution vs creationism in the variations to interpreting the data) to develope an opinion that is truly their own.

I know I managed to get myself out on the wrong foot with this posting topic. I also know that debating is not one of my better gifts. OK, I tend to be pretty lousy at it. What I was hoping to present was at least one point that would give someone a reason to begin questioning. Even if the conclusions came back to the beginning, at least this one actually looked and weighed the evidence and balanced it out with the interpretations and formulated an opinion that is truly their own.

Why is this important? Because there have been times when the mainstream was eventually shown to be incorrect. Because science grows through debate and keeping the issues alive. Because at times a fringe belief/interpretation may hold a piece of truth within it even if the overall conclusion is wrong (you know the expression about throwing the baby out with the bathwater?). Always question.

I saw a documentary on Mt. St. Helen's made ten years after the eruption. In it, the point was made that geologists digging through the layers of earth and making notes on what they observed and evaluated realized that had they not known what kind of eruption had taken place they would have, based on the evidence, interpreted a different type of eruption to have occurred. (Granted, that was over ten years ago; and I would love to know what advances have been made since then.) My point in bringing this up is that a note like this opens a door to questioning and re-evaluating interpretations of things. The geologist himself even said that this discovery provoked him to want to re-evaluate interpretations they have made on eruptions of the (ones without any written record of how they occurred). Keep questioning.

I've heard a lot about how hip bones in whales "prove" that whales evolved from land mammals because it is there and because it is a useless structure. I wonder about that. As I follow the trail of the evolutionary process, as is proposed, "useless" traits tend to be evolved out somehow. (BTW - the appendix? It is not a useless structure. It is actually a part of MALT - that is, mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue - which basically means that it plays a role in immunity within the digestive tract.) Pointing to the hipbone structure is a fair argument. Calling it useless - I question that. "Uselessness" should not fit with either model, creationism or evolution, I believe. (If someone who's better at researching the web than I am wants a little project to work on, I'd like to propose a hypothesis to work on or to look for. What if having or keeping the hip bone provides the whale with more power or at least more support with its tail movements? Maybe it's a wacky thought, especially with not having a picture to look at of the skeleton in relation to body structure. It's just fun to play around with guessing things sometimes.) I also have a question about the evolution of the baleen whales; has someone proposed an explanation for that? Not to prove any points; I'm just curious, because baleen is made of a totally different substance than teeth besides having a totally different structure and function. Is the conventional belief that the genes for the teeth evolved into genes for baleen, or did the teeth fall out and become replaced with baleen, or something else? I haven't been able to find anything that explains that, and I was wondering what's been said or found or interpreted about it. See - questioning!

So, forget the debate of evolution and creationism or intelligent design for a moment. Let's look at what we believe happened in the past. Do you believe that because of what was told to you or because of what you studied? Did you study one side to the argument or did you make yourself study opposing sides to the argument? Did you ever question? Did you ever evaluate? It's always healthy to do this with any branch of science with any topic. Granted, as some of you pointed out, I haven't perfected this trait in my own evaluations, and you are correct that I should. I may not change my evaluation in the end, but I shouldn't close myself to looking. Neither should you. We all should keep looking, keep evaluating, keep questioning, look at what other sides have to say for a change and allow them a fair hearing. Even if you have every reason to believe that what you believe is a proven fact. Ten years ago, Pluto's status as a planet was "proven fact." You never know....

(Hah! Managed to put astronomy back into the mix.)
Cheers!

beskeptical
2002-Jun-21, 09:37 AM
Caryn, what is the year of this text? "Dr David M. Raup,Curator of Geology, Field Museum of Natural history, Chicago, 'Conflicts between Darwin and paleontology'. Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, vol. 50(1)p23."

I notice your other reference is 1981. That is 21 years old! Science has moved on, way on!

Nebularain said in the last post:
"As I mentioned some time ago, I had taken a class that evaluated the comparitive study of origins."

And, as I mentioned several times now, the information from the course you took was before DNA research of today was available. Forgive me if I am misjudging you, but it seems to me from reading your posts that you don't want to reconsider your previous conclusions based on new research. Would that be a correct assumption? Have you evaluated the new research or do you intend to?

Nebularain also wrote: "I saw a documentary on Mt. St. Helen's made ten years after the eruption. In it, the point was made that geologists digging through the layers of earth and making notes on what they observed and evaluated realized that had they not known what kind of eruption had taken place they would have, based on the evidence, interpreted a different type of eruption to have occurred."

I don't know which documentary that was but it goes against all I know about volcanos and Mt. St. Helens. The Cascade volcanos are some of the best studied and documented in the world. I believe only the Hawaiian volcanos are better studied. Perhaps some statement from the documentary was misunderstood. If not, then the documentary might have been referring to some specific site but certainly not the eruption as a whole. There would be no way a geologist would not be able to tell what kind of eruption occurred.

I understand the point you were making, but the volcano facts I must protest. Your point is a bit along the lines of what I am trying to say. Science is not a set of facts, it is an ongoing process. We always have to be open to re-evaluating when new information is acquired.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2002-06-21 05:40 ]</font>

SpacedOut
2002-Jun-21, 10:43 AM
On 2002-06-20 16:57, Caryn wrote:
I believe it's in "Hoyle on Evolution", Nature, November 12 1981


Thanks - though I notice he did not provide any real backup.

sts60
2002-Jun-21, 01:48 PM
Nebularain,

you are right that we should keep thinking and questioning. And you seem open to receiving explanations and evidence. Not to sound patronizing, but that's very good.

On the specific topic of evolutionary theory vs. the various types of creationism (from YEC to ID), the reason I accept evolutionary theory as largely correct is for much the same reasons I accept organic chemistry, plate tectonics, or aerodynamics. It's that a vast body of knowledge has been accumulated with a consistent theoretical framework that explains the empirical results pretty well.

"Aha!", you cry, "he's just weaseling out of admitting he hasn't done his own research on the topic." I haven't done research on evolutionary theory, true. Nor have I done any in organic chemistry, etc. I'm an engineer with education in physics and anthropology. As far as evolutionary theory goes, I'm a partially-educated layman.

So why do I strongly defend evolutionary science? Because I know enough about it to glimpse the beauty and scope of its power to explain much of how we came to be the way we are. Because there is no credible competing theory. Because it's the branch of science singled out for attack by people who are offended by it due to their religious beliefs.

This last point explains why I sometimes come across in these posts as being rather irritated. The creationist approach has "evolved" in more sophisticated forms into a critter (ID and specified-complexity "theory") which has the survival strategy of mimicing science, but is clearly not science - it is an assertion of incredulity, with no predictive power and no acknowledgment of falisifiability.

(On the other hand, we still get plenty of posts like Caryn's, which toss out some random quote with this "so there!" air. That's not science; that's sound-bite politics. I get more than enough of that from TV attack ads, thank you.)

The creationist attacks on evolutionary science (and the associated YEC attacks on cosmology, astronomy, and planetary science) offend me as one who believes in the utility of science as an impartial tool for investigating the natural world. They anger me as a Christian who finds this to be faulty theology forced on me in the guise of science. They appall me as an American who does not want somebody's religious convictions forced into a science curriculum.

To make a long post short - well, too late /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif I do agree that an open mind is important. If everything we knew about evolutionary theory, or cosmology, or whatever, was overthrown by some new scientific breakthrough, or by God suddenly materializing and saying "Let me 'splain how this works", we need to strive to understand the new idea, not cling to the old one.

But in the absence of direct revelatory presentation to everybody at once, science provides us the best way to understand the natural world. And I don't think that someone deciding how they want it to be and calling that "science" is worthy of the same consideration as those who are willing to work hard to understand both the "whys" and "why nots".

OK, that's the last novel I publish on this topic. Cheers.

DaveC
2002-Jun-21, 02:52 PM
I've heard a lot about how hip bones in whales "prove" that whales evolved from land mammals because it is there and because it is a useless structure. I wonder about that. As I follow the trail of the evolutionary process, as is proposed, "useless" traits tend to be evolved out somehow. (BTW - the appendix? It is not a useless structure. It is actually a part of MALT - that is, mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue - which basically means that it plays a role in immunity within the digestive tract.) Pointing to the hipbone structure is a fair argument. Calling it useless - I question that. "Uselessness" should not fit with either model, creationism or evolution, I believe.


Whether vestigial structures and organs such as the whale hip and the appendix have a current function or not only comes to the issue of whether they are truly vestigial - not whether they are evolutionary remnants. Why would an intelligent design give whales legs and not give them to other similar swimmers? Why would the legs occasionally protrude from the body - surely a disadvantage where streamlining is critical to survival. I might not be so bold as to say only evolution explains whale "legs", but there is nothing in evolutionary theory with which they are inconsistent. The same can't be said for intelligent design.

Despite various opinions about the appendix, there really is no evidence that it is anything more than a remnant of a ruminant digestive tract. Having one confers no observable advantage - in fact it was, until this century, the cause of many premature deaths. If it forms part of an immune system, there is no epidemiological evidence to show that it has any measurable effect, which causes me and many others to conclude that this "function" is postulated rather than demonstrated. In the absence of any contrary evidence, one is compelled to conclude that the appendix truly is a vestige of something that that has evolved virtually out of existence.



Let's look at what we believe happened in the past. Do you believe that because of what was told to you or because of what you studied? Did you study one side to the argument or did you make yourself study opposing sides to the argument? Did you ever question? Did you ever evaluate? It's always healthy to do this with any branch of science with any topic


There are two contexts for the word "believe". One is aligned with "Belief", which doesn't require evidence, and one is more akin to "Conclude" which SHOULD be based on evidence. The problem with studying both sides of the issue of the origin of species is that there is no evidence to study on the creation/intelligent design side. One has to first believe there IS a creator/designer and then look for ways in which the observations fit that belief. That is not science, nor does it provide to those who don't believe in a creator (not to be confused with those who don't believe in God) anything to examine. I can't accept the circular argument that the complexity of life proves there's a creator and therefore that creator must have created life. When we see direct evidence that a being capable of creating life actually exists, then we can turn our mind to studying whether or not he/she/it actually exercised that power. Until then, I see only one side of the issue to study - evolution, within which theory there are numerous unknowns and potential varieties of mechanisms.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DaveC on 2002-06-21 10:55 ]</font>

Silas
2002-Jun-21, 03:02 PM
On 2002-06-21 01:31, nebularain wrote:
I've heard a lot about how hip bones in whales "prove" that whales evolved from land mammals because it is there and because it is a useless structure.


Dave C covered this pretty well. The fact that the hip bone appears to be useless is an argument against Intelligent Design.

The fact that *all mammals*, including whales, have hip bones is a strong indication that whales are related to the other mammals. And if they are related, the question is immediately asked, "Are they related by descent?"

This gives two paths of thought that both weaken the notion that the whale was "designed." A) he is designed poorly, and B) he appears to be a descendant of other animals, i.e., a product of change, not of design.

Evolution may or may not be the answer...but special creation is as dead as the dodo.

Silas

SeanF
2002-Jun-21, 03:09 PM
On 2002-06-21 10:52, DaveC wrote:
In the absence of any contrary evidence, one is compelled to conclude that the appendix truly is a vestige of something that that has evolved virtually out of existence.


Something's always confused me about the concept of vestigial organs or evolutionary "remnants" or whatever. (Before I go any further, let me state flat-out that I do accept evolution! I'm just asking a question about it, not attempting to refute it! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif )

The general idea is that an organism is produced with some kind of genetic mutation which gives it a survival / reproductive edge. This organism therefore has more children than organisms without the mutated trait (and its children have more children, etc.). So, with each succeeding generation the trait exists in a larger percentage of the population until everybody's got one. Right?

But that doesn't explain "useless" traits disappearing. If it doesn't provide a survival / reproductive advantage, then there's no reason for it to become widespread throughout the population; it should remain in the same general percentage it started in (unless it randomly mutates in another family).

In other words, it can't "evolve out of existence" just because there's no advantage to having one, there actually has to be a disadvantage to having one.

Doesn't there? What am I missing?

DaveC
2002-Jun-21, 03:51 PM
On 2002-06-21 11:09, SeanF wrote:
Something's always confused me about the concept of vestigial organs or evolutionary "remnants" or whatever. ....
The general idea is that an organism is produced with some kind of genetic mutation which gives it a survival / reproductive edge. ... So, with each succeeding generation the trait exists in a larger percentage of the population until everybody's got one. Right?

But that doesn't explain "useless" traits disappearing. If it doesn't provide a survival / reproductive advantage, then there's no reason for it to become widespread throughout the population; it should remain in the same general percentage it started in (unless it randomly mutates in another family).

In other words, it can't "evolve out of existence" just because there's no advantage to having one, there actually has to be a disadvantage to having one.


With whale legs, it is pretty clear that having them disappear - or at least not protrude outside the body WOULD confer an advantage on something that had to swim to catch its food. The appendix is a more difficult issue and we get down to speculation - if, as is assumed, it is the remnant of a second stomach. But one can postulate how a smaller second stomach in a ruminant that was becoming an omnivore might be advantageous. For example, a faster digestive system might make a species more adaptable and a more aggressive hunter. In times of drought, those animals that could eat and digest carrion might be more successful and the smaller digestive tract (typical of meat eaters) would be an advantage. Or it may be that eating meat had some negative effect on animals with a large second stomach - maybe it rotted rather than digested and caused them to perish - so only those with the smallest second stomach survived? I'm just speculating, of course, but I don't think the mechanism is quite as simple as "what you don't use you lose". The appendix is a muscular organ that is able to expand to many times its normal size when it becomes infected. This suggests that if it had a digestive purpose, it could stretch (as the stomach can be stretched) to serve that purpose.

Silas
2002-Jun-21, 05:13 PM
On 2002-06-21 11:09, SeanF wrote:
In other words, it can't "evolve out of existence" just because there's no advantage to having one, there actually has to be a disadvantage to having one.


Biological structures are "costly." It takes energy to create them and sustain them. Fish that live in caves sometimes evolve vestigal eyes, or no eyes at all, thus saving the amount of food-energy that sighted animals have to spend on maintaining retinal cells, etc.

Even a tiny savings in the food/energy budget can make the difference in survival, and differential survival is what evolution is all about.

Silas

nebularain
2002-Jun-21, 05:59 PM
Oh - I was afraid I was going to be misunderstood. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif

I wasn't trying to egg anyone on towards creationism in my last post. I was presenting the argument of questioning and seeking. Questioning the mainstream conclusions or theories doesn't have to mean questioning evolution. I was not trying to imply that at all.
An example: the pepper moth incidence. (Yes - the scientists made a scientific blunder. Oof!) That was totally unnecessary. Scientifically, it should not have occurred, nor was there really a need to. Nor should it have taken so long to figure out that an error had been presented - especially one that was so widely published! I'm arguing simple science here. There's no harm in questioning the data and interpretations, and, as this case shows, it should have been done. If you want to keep using the pepper moth to argue evolution, then please do so with the correct information and pictures this time, please, OK?
My whale questions are ones I would have no matter what my world view was. Like I said, and as another poster (thankfully) affirmed, evolution tends to evolve out things that are useless. If the hip bones remained as is, there has to be a reason for it. I don't want you all to weed out questions that may appear to go against your grain any more than you want me to, especially when I'm bending over backwards to ask it from an evolutionary standpoint so you don't think I'm trying to "convert" you or anything.
My info on the appendix comes out of my anatomy and physiology textbook and from my anatomy and physiology teacher (who seems to know everything there is to know on the entire subject!) Here's a link that elaborates on the matter a bit better: http://www.jdaross.mcmail.com/lymphatics4.htm
(for the quick glance, note the bullets and the paragraphs before and after to explain them).
I'm aware that I have more reason to question things than others might. I also admit that I use the philosophy of "taking everything with a grain of salt" in part as a means of dealing with the likely inevitable changes to our understanding that will come down the pike with new discoveries (I don't deal with transitions easy unless I expect them). And even though my bottom line view of the matter hasn't been changed from all that's been presented, I have learned from what has been presented here. Some of you have done a good job in digging up info. I hope that you, too, have learned from this experience. Looking at what an alternative side may have to say can be very educational if you can look past the conclusions or the argument being presented. You may be surprised and see something you had not thought of before - you don't have to agree with the argument to acknowledge a valid question or point that is offered. Nor does it have to be answered right away; mistakes are easily made that way. Allow yourself to be intrigued by the question and seek an answer. Hey! If I can learn to do it, so can you. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

DaveC
2002-Jun-21, 06:01 PM
Thanks for summing it up so succinctly, Silas. That's what it's all about - maximizing the ability to utilize the food avilable - and presumably having more energy left over for procreation and raising offspring.

DaveC
2002-Jun-21, 06:53 PM
On 2002-06-21 13:59, nebularain wrote:
My whale questions are ones I would have no matter what my world view was. Like I said, and as another poster (thankfully) affirmed, evolution tends to evolve out things that are useless. If the hip bones remained as is, there has to be a reason for it


Or the whale could simply be one of those transition species between its ancestors that had legs and its successors that won't have? Perhaps it just hasn't had enough environmental pressure to either lose the wasteful appendage or perish?

I'm not disputing the information you provided on the appendix - my comments were simply that epidemiology doesn't show any difference between those with an appendix and those without. So its postulated role in protection against infection isn't borne out by observational experience - even though the link you provided makes a good case for that being its current function. Does the second stomach in a ruminant also have a MALT function? If so, that might help explain the lineage of the appendix.

Donnie B.
2002-Jun-21, 09:03 PM
Concerning the Mt St. Helens eruption:

The one thing that was something of a surprise was that the blast was vectored -- that is, it blew out to the side, not straight up. This was not a behavior that had been observed or inferred in other, similar eruptions (of the pyroclastic flow variety).

This did lead to some reanalysis of deposition patterns, which had always been expected to be roughly circular and centered on the caldera. I believe that vulcanologists now take more cores before they draw conclusions about the eruption history of Cascades-type volcanoes.

Tim Thompson
2002-Jun-22, 12:55 AM
Oh my, the silly creationists are still at it! Now the "Bad Astronomy" board is discussiong "Bad Biology", "Bad Paleontology", and just plain "Bad Science", but not astronomy. Too bad.

Caryn: "Instead of finding the gradual unfolding of life, what gelogists of Darwin's time and geologists of the present day actually find is a highly uneven or jerky record; ...

So, does this mean that evolution, in all manner & form, must be wrong? Or does it mean that Darwin himself was wrong, perhaps along with his contemporaries? There is a huge difference between the two.

The whole point of Gould & Eldredge arguing for punctuated equilibrium is that their view of the fossil record indicates that evolution works in a manner different from the strictly Darwinian notion of a smooth "continuum" of evolution.

But creationists try to sell this as some kind of bogus argument that "evolution" must be wrong. It's pure, meaningless propaganda.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Tim Thompson on 2002-06-21 20:56 ]</font>

beskeptical
2002-Jun-22, 05:28 AM
Gee Tim. Do I detect a bit of disgust there? I think Bad Science (**) is at the root of bad astronomy. Geology and biology do have their place in the science of astronomy. And since palentology is related to biology......
Oh my gosh, it's one big happy Universe. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

You have to admit, you also found it hard not to respond to the **.

beskeptical
2002-Jun-22, 05:56 AM
On 2002-06-21 17:03, Donnie B. wrote:
Concerning the Mt St. Helens eruption:

The one thing that was something of a surprise was that the blast blew out to the side, not straight up. This was not a behavior that had been observed or inferred in other, similar eruptions (of the pyroclastic flow variety).

This did lead to some reanalysis of deposition patterns, which had always been expected to be roughly circular and centered on the caldera. I believe that vulcanologists now take more cores before they draw conclusions about the eruption history of Cascades-type volcanoes.


I am aware that the whole mountain blowing apart was a big surprise. I myself was in shock since we had been taking weekend trips to watch the early phases. I couldn't believe how stupid we had been when we went back to where we had camped the week before May 18 and saw 12 inches of ash and no mountain.

The events were an earthquake, a landslide, and then the lateral blast to be precise. But that was my point. There were some specifics that were added to the knowledge of volcanology, but not in any kind of basic understanding of the eruption events.

Nubularain had written:
I saw a documentary on Mt. St. Helen's made ten years after the eruption. In it, the point was made that geologists digging through the layers of earth and making notes on what they observed and evaluated realized that had they not known what kind of eruption had taken place they would have, based on the evidence, interpreted a different type of eruption to have occurred.

I believe having had such a good record of the eruption, then examining the aftermath, a lot was learned about the Cascades and volcanos in general. But to say the scientists would have concluded a different type of eruption?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2002-06-22 01:57 ]</font>

beskeptical
2002-Jun-22, 06:42 AM
The forces of natural selection as they are now understood are more complicated than only a pure 'fitness for reproduction' factor. Random genetic changes occur at fairly steady rates. Some genes are more easily mutated and some are more stable based on their chemical bonds.

The forces that result in adaptation beyond a species boundary and therefore result in a new species are at least the following:

Random changes that have a neutral effect on survival, being a successful trait, being associated with a successful trait, selected by mate preference with only a distant connection to survival (the mate with that preference is more successful), and there are probably some I am forgetting.

And why shouldn't an organ or body part that is now overridden by a more useful part evolve away? It's not a great leap to see that useless gills in an air breathing mammal would have severe disadvantages. The environment or other circumstances have changed. The old and the new can easily evolve together. While one species might perfect its beak size, others of the same group might migrate into another climate zone as the original territory fills up.

Once you add sexual reproduction with all the mixing of genes and then add the complexity of so many possible combinations, and top it off with viruses capable of altering or introducing whole genes into a cell permanently, and don't forget genes can be turned on or off by minor changes without having to actually mutate.... well it should be clear, the complexity of the whole process has produced the incredible varity of life that we have on this planet.

Organisms do evolve at an irregular rate. Sometimes weather and related events like asteroid impacts, disease, and the introduction or destruction of other species force rapid change. Sometimes organisms are very stable. The shark and the alligator are fairly long lived species for example.

Just as one would expect, when the environment stabilizes and the new species stabilize, you get larger populations which of course are more easily found in the fossil record. When rapid transition is occurring, populations would naturally be smaller, and rare or absent from the fossil record.

And as I have said, the whole picture is still there, in our DNA. Transitional traits are all around if you care to look. Eyes, from single cells that detect light to mammal and insect eyes. All forms of circulatory systems exist today, animals that live in and out of the water, in salt water and in fresh water, colonies of cells that act as an organism, colonies of cells that have symbiotic relationships with other species and act as a connected organism, ...

A lot of misconceptions I keep reading in this thread are from trying to see evolution as an over simplistic process.

Prince
2002-Jun-22, 05:49 PM
Yup. Jim is wrong on speciation. "The essence of Darwinism lies in a single phrase: Natural Selection is the creative force of evolutionary change. No one denies that Natural Selection will play a negative role in elimnating the unfit. Darwinian theories require that it create the fit as well!" (Stephen Gould, "The Return of Hopeful Monsters").

Prince
2002-Jun-22, 06:11 PM
Darwinian ideas have have had deleterious practical consequences. It is estimated
that up to 75% of all surgery performed is entirely unnecessary, with millions of needless operations based onn "vestigial" thinking eg. appendicectomy, tonsillectomy, lobotomy, turbinectomy, deviated nasal septum, meniscectomy, TMJ dysfunction gastroenterostomy, 3rd molars etc. Only the inaccesibility of the thymus & pineal glands, & the recurrent laryngeal nerve saved them from the surgeon's blade! A vast ocean of iatrogenic (doctor-induced) suffering, with very many people being robbed of their lives. Much of
this is due to the evolutionary fallacy that the human body is replete with useless "vestigal" organs, the result of an
accidental metamorphosis from a slime cell, rather than viewing it as of the Creator's awesome design of plan, purpose and efficiency: "Only the fool says in his heart
that there is no God" (Psalm 14).

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jun-22, 06:25 PM
On 2002-06-22 14:11, Prince wrote:
Darwinian ideas have have had deleterious practical consequences. It is estimated
that up to 75% of all surgery performed is entirely unnecessary, with millions of needless operations based onn "vestigial" thinking eg. appendicectomy

I don't think appendectomies are performed because of Darwin--I think most of them are performed because of appendicitis. Big difference.

The pain and suffering in those cases is not iatrogenic, unless your doctor has been feeding you chewing gum. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Gramma loreto
2002-Jun-22, 06:54 PM
On 2002-06-22 14:11, Prince wrote:

It is estimated that up to 75% of all surgery performed is entirely unnecessary, with millions of needless operations based onn "vestigial" thinking eg. appendicectomy, tonsillectomy, lobotomy, turbinectomy, deviated nasal septum, meniscectomy, TMJ dysfunction gastroenterostomy, 3rd molars etc.

Source of data please?

thkaufm
2002-Jun-22, 07:41 PM
up to 75% of all surgery performed is entirely unnecessary, with millions of needless operations based onn "vestigial" thinking eg. appendicectomy, tonsillectomy, lobotomy, turbinectomy, deviated nasal septum, meniscectomy, TMJ dysfunction gastroenterostomy, 3rd molars etc.

I don't think very many people have surgery just because they want to get rid of body parts they don't think they need.

I don't understand what half the things you mentioned even have to do with "vestigial thinking" anyway.

What is the purpose of having teeth that don't even fit in your mouth?

Tom

Silas
2002-Jun-22, 11:10 PM
On 2002-06-22 15:41, thkaufm wrote:
What is the purpose of having teeth that don't even fit in your mouth?


To say nothing of feet!

Or, to be serious for a moment, my younger sister had surgery to remove the last joint of the little toe on one foot: it was grinding into the next toe over. *WE* are a "transitional phase" animal! We've got those doggone toes that serve very, very little purpose. This "unnecessary" surgery didn't save my sister's life, but it did improve the quality of her life.

(Besides, surgery and evolution are almost exactly opposing forces: one saves lives, and the other competes for them.)

Silas

SpacedOut
2002-Jun-23, 11:16 AM
On 2002-06-22 15:41, thkaufm wrote:
I don't think very many people have surgery just because they want to get rid of body parts they don't think they need.

I don't understand what half the things you mentioned even have to do with "vestigial thinking" anyway.

What is the purpose of having teeth that don't even fit in your mouth?

Tom


Agreeing with Tom – All of the surgeries noted to remove parts, are usually done to save a life or improve the quality of life. Parts removed aren’t thought of as useless, rather they are only removed if they aren’t absolutely necessary to sustain life. A good example is the spleen – it performs an important function, but once ruptured, it is removed to save the life. Any adverse effects are considered acceptable – you have to be alive to suffer the adverse effects!

sts60
2002-Jun-23, 11:49 AM
Darwinian ideas have have had deleterious practical consequences. It is estimated
that up to 75% of all surgery performed is entirely unnecessary, with millions of needless operations based onn "vestigial" thinking eg. appendicectomy, tonsillectomy, lobotomy, turbinectomy, deviated nasal septum, meniscectomy, TMJ dysfunction gastroenterostomy, 3rd molars etc.

This is patently false. For example, appendectomies are not performed because the organ is considered useless, but are instead performed when the patient develops appendicitis, which can kill the patient if unchecked.. For another example, lobotomies are performed to alleviate serious mental disorders, not because anyone thinks the frontal lobes serve no purpose.

If you wish us to treat this assertion seriously, please provide a reference to peer-reviewed medical publications that support this claim.

Only the inaccesibility of the thymus & pineal glands, & the recurrent laryngeal nerve saved them from the surgeon's blade!

Have you any evidence for this assertion, i.e., peer-reviewed medical journals?

A vast ocean of iatrogenic (doctor-induced) suffering, with very many people being robbed of their lives. Much of this is due to the evolutionary fallacy that the human body is replete with useless "vestigal" organs,

"Vast ocean"? There certainly are some unnecessary surgeries. "Replete"? How many, exactly? Please provide some statistics to back up your description.

the result of an accidental metamorphosis from a slime cell,

This is an inaccurate characterization of the evolutionary process. You don't seem to understand what you attack, or perhaps you choose not to represent it accurately.

rather than viewing it as of the Creator's awesome design of plan, purpose and efficiency: "Only the fool says in his heart
that there is no God" (Psalm 14).

This is an arrogant statement. Evolution is not disproof of God. If you wish to believe it is incompatible with His existence, that is your business; but kindly refrain from insulting those of us who appreciate the marvelous subtlety of His work.

<font size=-1>"Stop telling God what to do." - Niels Bohr</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: sts60 on 2002-06-23 09:37 ]</font>

David Hall
2002-Jun-23, 12:46 PM
Well, apparently the thymus and pineal glands are not completely vestigal, even if they were once thought to be.

http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/p1/pinealgl.asp
http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/t1/thymusgl.asp

I can't believe for even a moment that 75% of all surgery is based on "vestigal" thinking. That's just absurd. The vast amount of "unnecessary" surgery performed is cosmetic in nature, ranging from removing a wart to nose jobs and even more radical work (I recently read of a technique being used to lengthen the bones in the leg to add extra height). None of these have anything to do with vestigal parts. Maybe if you consider fat a vestigal organ liposuction could be considered as such though. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif

As mentioned by others, surgery on vestigal organs is usually only done when they are considered a threat to the life in question. I have heard about doctors removing the appendix during abdomenal surgery when not absolutely necessary. But the idea is that they might as well take it out while they are in there, because the appendix does pose a known threat to life and there are no known negative effects if it is removed. In general though, doctors will be the first to warn people off of unnecessary surgery, as it's usually more dangerous to undergo the procedure than to leave it in there in the first place.

It is true though, that the human body, and the bodies of many, if not most, other animals have many vestigal organs and other body parts. This is a fact. If it wasn't vestigal, removing the appendix would cause health problems, wouldn't it? And to me at least, it's a clear indication of evolution at work. Body parts that once had a useful function, but which were rendered supefluous by changing needs or have had their functions superceded by other organs. They are thus in the process of evolving back into nothingness, and only their relative benignity keeps them around at all. In this way, they can also be considered "transitional" in nature.

BTW, has anyone else noticed that this ridiculous 10 page thread was started by a hit-and-run poster who has never bothered to speak up again?

SpacedOut
2002-Jun-23, 02:28 PM
On 2002-06-23 08:46, David Hall wrote:
…..Maybe if you consider fat a vestigal organ liposuction could be considered as such though. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif


Sure, pick on us jolly types. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif



I have heard about doctors removing the appendix during abdomenal surgery when not absolutely necessary. But the idea is that they might as well take it out while they are in there, because the appendix does pose a known threat to life and there are no known negative effects if it is removed.


This may have been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, but I read an article from one of the medical web sites (if someone wants I’ll try to track it down) that the appendix might have impact on the immune system very early in life. Don’t know if it is the current thinking but it might explain why it hasn’t disappeared completely give the disastrous effects it can have when infected.



BTW, has anyone else noticed that this ridiculous 10 page thread was started by a hit-and-run poster who has never bothered to speak up again?


Not until just now.

PS - Article on Appendix link to the immune system was from the Scientific American (http://www.sciam.com/askexpert_question.cfm?articleID=0002A56A-62A5-1C72-9EB7809EC588F2D7&catID=3&topicID=3) web site.

[edit to add link]


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SpacedOut on 2002-06-23 10:39 ]</font>

DaveC
2002-Jun-24, 08:08 PM
On 2002-06-23 08:46, David Hall wrote:

BTW, has anyone else noticed that this ridiculous 10 page thread was started by a hit-and-run poster who has never bothered to speak up again?



Yes - amazing that it actually went on for 10 pages, too. BA must have seen some faint link to astronomy in whale hips, although it did start with a post about planetary orbits. From the orbit of Mars to elective vestigial surgery in only 10 pages! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DaveC on 2002-06-24 16:13 ]</font>

Jovianboy
2002-Jun-25, 04:26 AM
On 2002-06-24 16:08, DaveC wrote:

From the orbit of Mars to elective vestigial surgery in only 10 pages! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

DaveC on 2002-06-24 16:13 ]</font>


To continually push his politico-religious agenda, the creationist can twist almost any topic towards anti-Darwinism. Even when it's totally irrelevant. You see, no matter what we talk about, we're still all part of the great evolutionist conspiracy against the Lord!

Time for a cup of tea.

JB

beskeptical
2002-Jun-25, 04:36 AM
This is a bit further away from 'proof of design' than I had hoped to go. How does removing one's appendix disprove evolution? Or what exactly are you trying to say?????

As far as the oversimplified and incorrect statement about unnecessary surgery, well, I say, buyer beware!

Western medicine has only recently refined itself into 'evidence based medicine'. It really has only been true medicine for the last 100 or so years.

I do believe the story that President Lincoln's death was hastened by the practice of bleeding patients is factual.

More interesting medical trivia includes the old practice of doing hysterectomies to treat hysterical women. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif

But, we have begun to weed out the less than well researched practices and I would say improvments are coming along nicely.

Now, if John Q Public could only figure out how to determine what medical treatments are not so well researched. The money wasted on bogus medical care could fund all the NEO searches (see other thread) and find a cure for HIV. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Silas
2002-Jun-25, 03:14 PM
I do believe the story that President Lincoln's death was hastened by the practice of bleeding patients is factual.


IIRC, it was Washington who was bled. Lincoln wasn't helped any by doctors who tried to reach around inside his head to find the bullet...

"The Youngest Science" by Lewis Thomas is a lovely bit of history on the subject. We've come a very long way in a very short time.

BTW, yes, there have been misconceptions based on naive interpretations of Darwin that have led to medical tragedies. Stephen Jay Gould (of highly regarded memory) was quite candid about this in a number of his essays. But that has nothing to do with *science*.

(Just as chlorine gas was used to hellish effect in WWI. Does that mean that chlorine isn't really a gas, or that the theory of chemical elements is wrong? Of course not! What a stupid chain of reasoning! But our creatonists, observing that Darwinian reasoning has, in fact, led people to do bad things, somehow conclude that this means it is wrong. How magnificently absurd!)

Silas

Tim Thompson
2002-Jun-25, 03:28 PM
beskeptical: You have to admit, you also found it hard not to respond to the **.

I have to admit a certain weakness along those lines. I have been a nemesis of young earth creationism for many years (The Collected Writings of Tim Thompson (http://www.tim-thompson.com/faqs.html)). Creationism is bad enough, but young earth creationism is about as stupid as stupid gets. I do get ticked off now, about as much as I did 30 years ago, at the prospect of such nonsense being pandered around public forums as if it deserved some kind of "respect". It doesn't.

DaveC
2002-Jun-26, 07:41 PM
Good stuff, Tim. I cruised quickly through and will be sure to do a more in-depth read when time permits.

beskeptical
2002-Jun-26, 10:05 PM
Tim T. Very impressive. We need more people like yourself motivated to improve the thought processes of the masses. I too am on a similar mission, (with some time in my life for other things). My focus is in decisions for medical care, an infinite source of pseudoscience.

beskeptical
2002-Jun-26, 10:39 PM
On 2002-06-25 11:14, Silas wrote:
IIRC, it was Washington who was bled. Lincoln wasn't helped any by doctors who tried to reach around inside his head to find the bullet...
Silas


I remember the finger in the brain now that you mention it. I'll have to review my sources.

Prince
2002-Jul-09, 09:16 AM
http://www.nexusmagazine.com/ETcreation.html

Kaptain K
2002-Jul-09, 10:28 AM
Prince,
Could you, just once, speak your own mind, rather than dropping a URL and running away? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif

David Hall
2002-Jul-09, 11:53 AM
On 2002-07-09 05:16, Prince wrote:
http://www.nexusmagazine.com/ETcreation.html


Just another weakly-argumented version of ID here. Some factual errors and lots of weak logic.

It mostly seems to rail against traditional Darwinist evolution. But most of the examples given can be countered very effectively using puncutated equilibrium theory. The author also seems to lack any understanding of just how powerful deliberate human intervention can be in the evolution of plants and animals.

The bulk of the article seems to be along the lines of "How could primitive humans have done that?" He seems to have a very low opinion of the creativity and ability of our ancestors.

The whole thing is just another argument from incredulity. How could such things arise naturally? It's got only one strange new twist. Instead of the Intelligent Designer (God) of the creationists, he seems to want to place the blame on some kind of extraterrestrial. Other than that, there's nothing here that hasn't been debunked before.

nebularain
2002-Jul-09, 12:15 PM
On 2002-07-09 07:53, David Hall wrote:
But most of the examples given can be countered very effectively using puncutated equilibrium theory


I feel kind-of stupid for asking this, but what is the "punctuated equilibrium theory"? It might have been mentioned before in previous arguments, but got lost in the whole mix of everything.

My main problem with the link above is that the author gives no references to what he claims, whatever his interpretations of them. I'd love to look some of those things up, if I knew where to look to find the info. For instance, I can see how he could interpret that cheetas are a bred animal based on the claims presented. It would be interesting to determine the accuracy of the claims and somehow research the possibility of the conclusion. Boy, wouldn't that cause a lot of jaws to drop if sufficient evidence were found that this were true!

David Hall
2002-Jul-09, 12:51 PM
As I understand it, standard Darwinism postulates that evolutionary change happens gradually over long periods of time and is rather constant in it's effect. But observation doesn't seem to support it very much.

So punctuated equilibrium was developed to explain observations better. The basic idea is that evolutionary change is very slow or nonexistant in large stable populations. This explains how sharks or turtles, for example, can remain essentially unchanged for millions of years. But PE also postulates that dramatic evolutionary changes happen when a small population of a species gets isolated from a larger one in a differing environment from the main group. The smaller population and enclosed environment then enhance the function of natural selection, thus producing large evolutionary changes in short periods of time. Sometimes, the newly evolved "daughter" species then break out of their isolation to spread out into the territory inhabited by the parent, sometimes replacing them completely, but other times simply coexisting with them.

The big advantage of PE is that it explains gaps in the fossil record. Because changes happen in small geologic areas and over short periods of time, transitional fossils are less likely to be preserved, less likely to be found, and less likely to be recognised for what they are when they are found. It also explains how new species can seemingly appear out of nowhere with traits quite different from the species found around them.

If I'm wrong in any way, I'm sure someone will correct me.

Here's the TalkOrigins FAQ on PE.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/punc-eq.html

_________________
<font size="-1">PLEASE NOTE: Some quantum physics theories suggest that when the consumer is not directly observing this product, it may cease to exist or will exist only in a vague and undetermined state.</font>

<font size="-1">(For some reason I had abbreviated it as 'PI'. 'Doh!)</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David Hall on 2002-07-09 08:54 ]</font>

Aldrin
2002-Jul-11, 03:56 AM
"But when someone has to go to that much effort to tease out a mathematical formula that is "accurate to five (but not six) decimal places" and "correct to within 0.2% (but not 0.02%), except in one case where it's not even that close" and say that that is evidence of God's Handiwork, then I must say that I believe God to be a better mathematician than that."

Or God have to work with the law of the universe he have created,when came the time to create the solar system!cause of "accurate to five (but not six) decimal places" and "correct to within 0.2% (but not 0.02%), except in one case where it's not even that close"
Origin of the equation:
http://hometown.aol.com/stoneequation/index.htm

Aldrin

beskeptical
2002-Jul-11, 08:14 AM
Whatever that site is Aldrin, I couldn't max it or close it without cntrl alt del.

Aldrin
2002-Jul-11, 04:01 PM
Silas
Bad Fellow
Posted: 2002-05-20 17:41

Bode's Law has been "old news" for how long? Centuries?

This debate is biased since the biginning,the Astronomical Enigma Equation have nothing to do with the Bode` laws.

Basically, the story is this. You take the size of the orbit of Mercury,
plug it into a (strange) formula, and out comes the size of the orbit of
Mars. Then you plug in Venus's orbit and get out Jupiter's. Then Earth
gives Saturn, and Mars gives Uranus. Further on, the author fills in
Neptune, Pluto. His error
hitting the exact known orbital sizes is quite small. Too small to be a
coincidence.

This kind of thing should not happen. In other words, there is no known
way the orbits of the planets should be related to one another by a
single equation. So the author of the site hypothesizes that the current
official mechanism for the formation of the solar system can't be right.

I did the math with this strange equation, and verified to my own
satisfaction that it works, even though I don't know why it works.
Therefore I have to believe it describes some real cause, which so far I
can't explain. The rebuttal to this argument might say there IS no extra
cause, and the planetary orbits are explained by some kind of
gravitational and orbital "resonance" that has determined their current
positions. However, the equation under discussion would have to be
explained in the same terms, and not just explained away. Having messed
around with it for a while, I can't see how to do this. So I conclude
it's describing something unknown but real.
http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/astroequation/mathone.htm

Aldrin

Chip
2002-Jul-11, 04:54 PM
Trigonometry applied to the solar system in Pythagorean grids is interesting. One way to further test the this particular formula is to apply it to arbitrary empty regions within the solar system where a planet could exist. Place the mean value for a fake planet in the formula, then see if it predicts a mean orbit of a related fictional planet position where one would calculate it to be.
Further down on the page they imply that this cannot be done. "We might well wonder what would happen if we repeated the Pythagorean pattern in the empty regions of the axes? We cannot do this at random, we must replicate the exact values, such that...a = a, b = b , c = c." However, here they're discussing a "Pythagorean pattern". I don't see why one could not test the equation with "exact" artificial "values"? The natural results are "mean orbits" anyway, so artificial test locations should be applicable.
Other examples of non-random natural patterns to which an equation might be applied to predict effects could be snowflake formation or perhaps the mean spiral arm distribution in elliptical galaxies.
(BTW: I hope that their "Planet X" predicted at 58.5 AU will not be used to justify the "Planet X" of the mumbo jumbo crowd.)

Silas
2002-Jul-11, 06:30 PM
On 2002-07-11 12:01, Aldrin wrote:
Basically, the story is this. You take the size of the orbit of Mercury,
plug it into a (strange) formula, and out comes the size of the orbit of
Mars. Then you plug in Venus's orbit and get out Jupiter's. Then Earth
gives Saturn, and Mars gives Uranus. Further on, the author fills in
Neptune, Pluto. His error
hitting the exact known orbital sizes is quite small. Too small to be a
coincidence.


Hogwash. I've been doing numerical interpolation for decades now. Let me see his "equation."

Just to be really rude: let M be the orbital radius of Mercury, V Venus, E Earth, MM Mars, etc.

Here is an equation, which, if solved, gives those distances miraculously, without any error at all:

0 = (x - M)*(x - V)*(x - E)*(x - MM) ...

Now, if I were a scoundrel, I could "disguise" this structure by multiplying this out into a polynomial. The obvious truth of the equation would be hidden. Most people would only see...

0 = ax^9 + bx^8 + cx^7 + dx^6 ... where the origin of the coefficients is far from obvious.

There are dozens of other ways to create a "magical" equation that fits the data. I suggest, in the strongest possible terms, that this is how the equation originated. The person in question already new the data, and merely threw together an equation that fits the observation.

Silas