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Natural Selection Shrinks Herd of Kansas Darwinists

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posted on May, 19 2005 @ 11:55 PM
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Well there were a number of post glacial floods that occured well within the span of modern man. It is possible that the flood stories are just vestigal memories of these.

www.glaciallakemissoula.org...

gsa.confex.com...


www.igsb.uiowa.edu...




posted on May, 20 2005 @ 12:00 AM
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Apparently you don't have to believe in a god to be evil:
www.godandscience.org...

Therefore, I absolutely agree with atheists and others who say that many atrocious things have been done in the name of God, even in the name of Christianity. However, these atrocities were not perpetrated by God, but by evil human beings. In fact, if you examine the atrocities perpetrated by atheists, you find that they have killed more people in the last century than all of the crimes of 2000 years of "church" history combined. Joseph Stalin killed 20 million Soviet citizens between 1929 and 1939 because they were not politically correct. Mao Tse-tung killed 34 to 62 million Chinese during the Chinese civil war of the 1930s and 1940s. Pol Pot, the leader of the Marxist regime in Cambodia, Kampuchea, in the 1970's killed 1.7 million of his own people. In fact, the Pol Pot regime specifically preached atheism and sought to exterminate all religious expression in Cambodia.1 This last example of atheist-led atrocities by itself resulted in the deaths of more people than those who were killed by 2000 years of "Christian" atrocities. Should atheism be blamed for the atrocities of a few prominent atheists?


Jesus Himself addressed the issue of "Christians," performing evil deeds in a rather chilling prophecy:


"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'" (Matthew 7:22-23)


JTL
You can find answers to most of your questions(if in fact your interested in another view) on the link i gave?

As to teaching creationism i'd have to agree with the majority here, which creation do we teach(i know of several in Christianity alone)? Has anyone asked what "theory" exactly these guys want taught? I'm a believer(old earth ID) and am not offended by evolution(not that i accept all it supposes), if you feel your kid needs special creation education then pick a private school that fits your particular belief.



posted on May, 20 2005 @ 12:12 AM
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Originally posted by HowardRoark
Well there were a number of post glacial floods that occured well within the span of modern man. It is possible that the flood stories are just vestigal memories of these.

www.glaciallakemissoula.org...

gsa.confex.com...


www.igsb.uiowa.edu...



That's another good point when speaking of creationism. Their is debate over whether the Biblical flood was global or local(which would they teach in creationism science 101?).

you can read the evidence for the flood being local(as described when translating the original text)..evidence in Bible for local flood



posted on May, 20 2005 @ 11:31 AM
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I just wanted to point something out that has recently come to my attention. One of my cousins is going through high school right now, and he is taking US Government currently. He recently came home from school and was eating dinner while I was over. My uncle asked the super-cliche phrase I had completely forgotten about before this point, "what'd you learn at school today?"

Well, it turned out he had been learning about the impeachment of Bill Clinton. My cousin, who knew his dad had gone to Washington to work under the Chief Counsul to the Judiciary Committee during the impeachment, asked his dad why he left his family for a couple of years because Clinton had sex. Well, Tom responded explaining the reality of what the impeachment was about, not the media's spin on it. Thomas (his son, my cousin) said he couldn't wait for government class to confront the teacher on this. On his own. My uncle did not encourage him to do this, he just pointed out the facts as he saw them which contradicted the facts as the teacher saw them.

After seeing this, it brought back many memories of myself doing the same thing. Heck, I still am today though I'm not in school anymore. If I learn something or discover something that I believe is well supported and I believe to be fact, I can't wait to get to my computer and hit ATS with it. I was the same way in school. Some people's personalities thrive on debate and confrontation.

So, in short, just because the kids are doing this doesn't mean the parents have forced or even coached them. I would, and do, get resources when I'm introduced to a new concept I believe to be true for when the debate comes. In school I would bring either notes taken from books/web (only had that my junior and senior years of HS, tho) or even the book its self. Why? I knew I wouldn't be able to remember all this new information. Today, I just leave the webpage open until I get to posting about it on ATS (you should see all the tabs in my FireFox browser open right now!).



posted on May, 21 2005 @ 09:34 AM
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exactly JJ

It is a natural human tendency to take new knowledge back to the old teacher. I really feel for the teachers in this case because they were the ones brought up believing a lie that when looked into..cannot be supported with logic.

Evolution is a religion. It takes more faith to believe evolution then it does Christ.
I dont have enough faith to be an evolutionist



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 02:00 AM
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Originally posted by junglejake

Natural Selection Shrinks Herd of Kansas Darwinists
by Scott Ott

(2005-05-03) -- Elderly residents still recall stories of the dust clouds that rolled through Salina as herds of Darwinists thundered across the Kansas plains unchallenged by competition -- unquestionably dominating, and some say destroying, their environment.

But as selective pressures mounted, Darwinists forced to fend for themselves in the natural arena of logic often fell prey to scrappy skeptics who contended for equal space in the Darwinist's natural habitat.

Some celebrate the success of the skeptics as healthy for the overall environment, while concerned conservationists race against the clock to raise funds and public awareness to rescue and shelter the Darwinist.

As they were driven from the public square in recent decades, Darwinists sought shelter in classrooms where they received protection from competing species and intellectual predators.

However, even in this cloistered preserve, Darwinists often struggled for survival among themselves, with competing variants turning on each other in a desperate attempt to pass on their own blueprint for life.

Some see a metaphor for the plight of the Darwinist in current efforts by environmentalists in California to kill off 3,000 feral pigs in order to protect a dwindling population of Santa Cruz foxes from birds of prey which may have come originally to feed on piglets.

In any case, the survival of the once-proud Darwinist may rest in human efforts to protect it from natural selection in the isolated zones which have become its last bastion of hope.


First, I found this article hilarious. It's from scrappleface.com, where Scott Ott satarizes the news but provides links in his stories to the real story, so you can know what he's talking about. At first, I was just amused by this little story, but then I clicked some of the links. There were two books that were linked to which Amazon.com carries. One was written by a biochemist from Lehigh University, explaining that, while there is evidence of macro evolution, the theory just doesn't hold up with micro evolution. Kinda the opposite arguement of most creationists today until you look at what defines micro. He's refering to microevolution as evolution of cells, and with his research he doesn't believe it to be possible. The other book, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds kinda speaks for its self.

What I found really interesting, though, was this article from CBS News

It is a biased article complaining about horrible children coming into their biology class with questions that evolution can't answer. The gist of the article is that it's causing a disruptive learning environment, and that kids should just stop asking questions and accept what they're told. Here's a quote by one of the teachers interviewed:


"The argument was always in the past the monkey-ancestor deal," says Mr. Williamson, who teaches at Olathe East High School. "Today there are many more arguments that kids bring to class, a whole fleet of arguments, and they're all drawn out of the efforts by different groups, like the intelligent design [proponents]."

It creates an uncomfortable atmosphere in the classroom, Williamson says - one that he doesn't like. "I don't want to ever be in a confrontational mode with those kids ... I find it disheartening as a teacher."


That's right, kids. Asking Mr. Williamson questions he doesn't have the answer makes him uncomfortable, so sit down, shut up, and accept what anyone in authority tells you. Does anyone else see a problem with this?




You know, you are absolutely right. Kids are bringing questions to class which teachers can't answer. But the answer to the answer is that today, most teachers on the elementary and secondary level are morons. They were educated in Education and simply don't have anything in their heads to teach---but they know how to teach.

I am not a teacher but ask me a question on evolution--any question you like. Go to that guy--what's his name, "Cemo", or whatever who writes for some magazine on evolutionary enigmas---go to him and get me a question. I promise you, I can give you an answer in simple terms that a second grader can understand. It isn't hard.

And when I do this "trick", I will expect you to use your power and influence in firing all these Red State teachers who seem to have knuckled under to Christian Fundamentalists and are now teaching through their burkas.



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 03:41 PM
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In fact, the passage republicans/Christians use to justify making gays evil baby eating devil worshipping monsters,
“If a man also lie with man-kind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them”

Also has that children who are disruptive are to be stoned to death. Yep, they didn’t have Ritalin; they had rocks bludgeoning kids to death.

“And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice, he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, the he die: so shalt thou put evil….”

Wow, how come they don’t mention this little rule? What? They don’t like it? Too bad, they are suppose to follow the rules gods gave them, not just some, but all. So, you want more things from the bible? Here we go….

There, since it seems none of you can read anything. You said you must have "missed" it so I gave it to you, and then it just "escapes" your mind to say anything on it.



posted on May, 25 2005 @ 07:33 AM
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Originally posted by jake1997
exactly JJ
Evolution is a religion. It takes more faith to believe evolution then it does Christ.


Lol. So science is religion now? Is religion still religion? Or is religion a science? You can type this crap but it doesn't make it true.

Whether you buy into the theory of evolution is up to you, however it is a scientific theory based around observable data. The very fact that it constantly changes in reaction to new data marks it clearly out from religious dogma. I love when you religious literalists seem to think that it is a weakness that a theory changes in accordance with new facts - that's exactly why it is a science!

Also lets remember that finding flaws in current evolutionary theory does not in any way support creationism. How does that work? I might be able to find some flaws in current planetary physics theory, but that does not support my theory that the planets are moved around the sun by giant hamsters (I'm still collecting evidence for this one, though I'm outraged that it isn't taught in schools yet)



posted on Jul, 15 2005 @ 07:15 AM
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Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
I was not raised to question everything, but I did. I asked the ministers and pastors at my church many questions they could not answer. That made them uncomfortable too. It was by questioning suspect material and views that I eventually broke away from the Prison of Christianity.


I had the same experience. The local priest (who was a pretty intelligent person) could answer most of my questions, though. His answers just weren't satisfactory. Most of the time, they only evoked more questions.

Anyway, it's 6 years since I abandonned Christiannity. The moment I did, the world suddenly made a lot more sense.



posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 01:11 PM
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Wait, it takes more faith to beleieve in the real world, in reality, in what actually happens, something we have proof of, then it does in zombies and giants and birdmen?

Wow, christians are funny. WHile they are busy going on about how gays are evil not once have they stoned a kid to death in about 70-80 years. Why? You say that chapter that has "Gays are evil" is to be followed, but you don't stone a kid to death for saying no to his mother, which the bible says is punishable by death!!!! Come on you good christians, start stoning kids to death for saying no, for throwing tantrums, for being kids.



posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by James the Lesser
Wow, christians are funny.


So are those who think they understand our faith, but don't. Gays are no more evil than you or I; it is a sin, but no worse than others.

Since we have proof of macroevolution, would you care to share it?



posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 01:52 PM
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Originally posted by FatherLukeDuke
Also lets remember that finding flaws in current evolutionary theory does not in any way support creationism. How does that work? I might be able to find some flaws in current planetary physics theory, but that does not support my theory that the planets are moved around the sun by giant hamsters (I'm still collecting evidence for this one, though I'm outraged that it isn't taught in schools yet)


No, no, no, not hamsters, big helium balloons. That's why Pluto's orbit is so eratic; its balloon has a small leak in it.


It is true that flaws in evolutionary theory don't mean that creationism is correct. Even if evolution is correct, at the same time, it doesn't mean creationism is incorrect. The reason, I believe, Christianity and evolution are at such odds with one another is that the evolutionists took the battle to religion. Just my personal belief, but its based on many evolutionists and geologists comments and some books they've written, including from before evolution had general scientific acceptance.



posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 08:50 AM
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.
If you genuinely question everything then an intelligent give and take engagement is useful.
If on the other hand you have been spoon fed questions only on a single subject by someone else that suits their agenda, it isn't questioning with an open mind.

Science is actually very good at having any viewpoint presented and either accepted on the merits of the argument or rejected due to a lack of evidence.

If you are just pushing an agenda, school is not the place.

If you are teaching facts such as they can be determined or asking questions in an attempt to comprehend them or offering rational counter arguments that is a legitimate function of school, provided all the curricula gets covered.

Come to school with your own mind, not someone elses.

edit: spelling

[edit on 30-7-2005 by slank]



posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 04:28 PM
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From that viewpoint, slank, how do you determine intentions? It's true that, in some cases, the parents give the kids some questions. However, is it outlandish to believe that the student couldn't look at the questions and become genuinely curious? I mean, that's kind of the scenario that I experienced to make me question the absloute authority of evolution. I saw some idiot here on ATS trying to make a case against evolution. After a laugh, I decided to do my typical debate tactic -- look for the arguements against my standpoint so I can refute them before they can be made or else be prepared for them well in advance of it coming up. Little did I realize that my little investigation for a discussion that never happened had led to about a year and a half's worth of research when I have the time, and I still have no idea. I doubt I ever will, but I'll keep searching.

Granted, I didn't get those questions from my parents. If I ever did, knowing myself when I was younger, I can assure you I would have chosen evolution and never looked back. If my acceptance of that concept really upset my parents in my teen years, that was the concept to accept. I ran into similar (although far better thought out with explanations in the scientific and mathimatical realm) questions as a die hard evolutionist, and they made me question this gospel truth I knew as evolution.

So how do you judge intentions?



posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 05:46 PM
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Whether you buy into the theory of evolution is up to you, however it is a scientific theory based around observable data.


Its a far fetched idea...not even a hypothesis...certainly not on the level of theory..that has no observable evidence to support it.
Dating methods have been shown to be assumptions.
Missing links are still missing.
and origins was so difficult that it was ejected from the idea into its own ever changing idea.

Evolution is not sceince. Science I accept.
Evolution is believed to be fact by many...and they believe it because of their faith



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by junglejake
Since we have proof of macroevolution, would you care to share it?

Macroevolution is defined as the evolution of species, and is usually contrasted with microevolution, changes within a species.

There are many observed instances of macroevolution, both within the lab (tho not 'designed') and in the wild. Here are some nice write-ups on the information.

Observed Instances of Speciation
Some More Observed Speciation Events
29+ Evidences for Macroevolution
in pdf format

But I have to say that the micro/macro 'split' is something that is focused on far too much. The mechanisms that operate on a population of organisms over generational time are pretty much the same whether its change that results in new variation or new species. Change is change. There is, for example, no evidence that there is anything like a 'Kind' barrier, a limit to change that prevents this regular evolutionary change from 'crossing over' into new territory. And, indeed, the evidence that we do have suggests that these sorts of changes have infact occured, and that they simply need time to accumulate (since they occure at each generation).

Furthermore, while there has allways been evidence that there is a 'species barrier' that needed to be crossed and for mechanisms that hold species distinct from one another, there is no evidence that there is such a kind barrier, and infact there is no evidence that the idea of a 'Kind' has any sort of biological reality. The evidence, rather, suggests that there are not 'Kinds' of animals, like 'birds'. These things have no characteristics that are not shared by other organisms that are not placed within 'Birdkind'. The entire concept is completely flawed in the first place and is refuted by the evidence that we do have.


The reason, I believe, Christianity and evolution are at such odds with one another is that the evolutionists took the battle to religion.

I have to strongly disagree. Evolutionists on the whole do give a fig about what people's religious beleifs are. True enough, many have their own beleifs and they state them, indeed, why shouldn't they. But to claim that the evolutionists 'started it' is simply incorrect. Its the creationists who put Scopes on trial, who outlawed Evolution in the first place. Evolution is a valid scientific field, it is what should be taught in schools and especially science classes. Creationism is not and has no placein any schools, any more than Islamic Creationism should be taught in schools (and yes it does exist as a seperate type of creationism and yes legal precedents that the creationist movements are trying to set would in fact support turning public schools into fundamentalist islamic madrasses).

Evolution is a science, it has nothing to do with religion and makes no claims on religion. No science does, religion is part of metaphyiscs and science can't 'touch' that realm, it can't operate within it.

including from before evolution had general scientific acceptance

Darwin's publication of Origins pretty much settled it. He and Huxley and others of his generation are the ones that helped evolution have a general scientific acceptance. I'm not really sure what you are talking about here.


jake1997
Its a far fetched idea...not even a hypothesis...certainly not on the level of theory..that has no observable evidence to support it.

Obviously you've studied the matter, you aren't unfamiliar with the material. Why are the evidences cited unacceptable?
Evolution is a scientific theory that has been welll supported for nearly 200 years. Its testable, makes 'predictions', and is thoroughly empirical and refutable. No one has been able to refute it, not in Darwin's day, and not today. Not the biggest evolutionists (who's method is to test the theory in such ways as to try to disprove it), nor any creationist.



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 12:52 PM
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Nygdan, thanks for the links. I've opened them in new tabs and, as I work my way across all the tabs I have to read through between work, I'll comment on the information contained therein and on your other comments. Just wanted to throw this out there, possibly making me look like a fool if its directly addressed in those links you provided


My problem with the belief that microevolution kept happening until we got what we currently perceive as macroevolution. I understand the mechanism; the complications come with the time factor. Even beyond that, though, in my mind the biggest problem with this belief stems from the fossil record and taxonomical categories of today.

Over millions of years, one species has a branch that starts to go its own micro evolutionary route. Let's say it’s a rat species. This group of rats came to live in some rocky terrain. As a result, those with stronger jumping abilities had a higher survivability than those without, while the same rats in a field would need other qualities to survive. Over time these rats, I'll call them the rock rats, though they're still the same species as the grass rats, started developing hind legs more and more adept at jumping. Eventually the bone structure, muscular structure, and physiology of these rock rats change. After several million years, they start to resemble rabbits more than rats, jumping where they need to go instead of scurrying. We have a new species. Is it the ultimate species for that environment? No, it can just navigate the rocks better than the grass rats, and therefore has a higher chance of evading a predator when being chased. We would see something different, but evolution would continue to take place.

While these rock rats were developing, it would be expected that, as their population grew, their territory expanded. Several probably went back to the grass, where their jumping evolutionary process stopped or slowed down, while other go into other environments and begin a change of their own.

On paper, it makes perfect sense and could explain, in conjunction with the Pangea theory, how so many similar yet different species there are across the planet.

Yet, evolution seems to plateau. We have several dinosaur fossils. We can see the progression from the Allosaurus to the T-Rex based on their bone structures. However, we have several complete Allosaurus skeletons and, last I can recall, 3 almost complete T-Rex skeletons (info outdated by about 10 to 15 years). So we have many examples of the plateau, where the species seemed to have settled, but nothing in between. If evolution takes place on the micro level, it would stand to reason the majority of fossils discovered would be blends of various species. All life today would be a blend, as well. There wouldn't be set species, there would be percentages. This is 70% rat and 30% rabbit, because the body and dietary habits are mostly that of a rat, but the hearing and jumping ability is physiologically related to rabbit species. We don't.

So why are there these special plateaus? Why does one specie slowly, ever so slowly, evolve from one form to another before it seems to settle in, while everything in between, which was capable of survival better than the original species that still exists, dies out, without a fossil? I know fossil creation is a very unlikely process, therefore making fossil discovery very rare compared to the population as a while. It is because of that knowledge that I find it so remarkable that we run into these set species, and several fossils of each, typically, yet nothing that seems to be a transitional form. You know, the form that that specie would assume for most of its developmental existence.



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by FatherLukeDuke

Originally posted by jake1997
exactly JJ
Evolution is a religion. It takes more faith to believe evolution then it does Christ.


Lol. So science is religion now? Is religion still religion? Or is religion a science? You can type this crap but it doesn't make it true.



Actually it seems that jake is trying to ignore the fact that it was "creationist" the ones that make the link with religion, when they declared creationism to be "a scietific theory" in their ideological pursue of linking creationism with science they make evolution into a religion.

So is not science to blame but creationist.


The truth is that science has never called itself a "religion" and religion will never be a science, creation is an ideology an believe that is taken in faith, never to be measure or weight.

But is taken as faith if creationist said that creation is real then in faith it most be truth.



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 02:18 PM
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Originally posted by junglejake
we have several complete Allosaurus skeletons and, last I can recall, 3 almost complete T-Rex skeletons (info outdated by about 10 to 15 years). So we have many examples of the plateau, where the species seemed to have settled, but nothing in between.

? But we do have stuff in between. We have a few species of the genus allosaurus, and many examples of tyrannosaurs (gorgosaurs, albertosaurs, etc, are also tyrannosaurs). We have a fossils record that shows the 'big' transitions, and we're already accepting that 'small' changes are acceptable, such as having bigger jaws, loosing fingers, increasing overall size, etc.

If evolution takes place on the micro level, it would stand to reason the majority of fossils discovered would be blends of various species.

I agree, and the thing is, all fossils are transitionals. They're all moving from something on to something else (for the most part, some by chance would probably be the last species of their line)


All life today would be a blend, as well. There wouldn't be set species, there would be percentages. This is 70% rat and 30% rabbit,

I see what you are saying, and that is what we'd expect, and its actually what we find, with one reservation, that we do have species. A species has a biological reality, its simple, but its an actual thing. A species can be defined in terms of actual organisms in operating in the world, they're basically inter-breeding populations. Sometimes two populations don't interbreed (or exachange genes at a distance even), simply because they are seperated by a physical barrier, like a large gorge, or an impassible river, or simply gaps in a range, and sometimes they don't interbreed because they aren't physically able to, and sometimes because their genetics prevent it (say different chromosome numbers, etc). So we can expect there to be distinct species in the living world.

But we would expect that in terms of lineages, that we'd have great difficulty. What really seperates, say, 'tyrannosaur population A" in this upper formation and "tyrannosuar population B' in this lower, and millions of years older, formation? Obviously they're not interbreeding, but only because they are seperated by time, and, really, they are transfering genes, because they're forming a lineage with one another. So even if we give the fossils two different species names, that name sort of looses a lot of its meaning, and its basically an arbitrary distinction (whereas the seperation in species of living rabbits isn't arbitary, they're not interbreeding and exchanging genes).

So in the modern living world we see distinct species, and distinct Kinds, these are what I think we can consider Plateas (rather than species, for the above reasons). We see Birds, and Mammals, and Reptiles, and nothing that is in between.

But in the fossil record, we don't see distinct birds mammals and reptiles. We see that incredible, expected variety and mix that we expect because of the implications of evolutionary theory. We see "dino-birds" and "Mammal-like Reptiles". Over the course of the histroy that happened to play out, many linegages died out, while others surived. And the result is what we have today, where we think we are seeing these distinct kinds of animals, like birds and mammals. Its not even that intermediates are unfit or something. Its just that we've looked at the world around us and put things in to arbitrary-yet-sensible categories (because we see the living world long before the fossil world). We still have 'transitionals', like egg-laying mammals, or flightless birds and primitive birds, but we've picked the characteristics that are most obvious to us and said that they define that kind of animal (like fur, feathers, scales, egg-laying, water breating, etc etc).


So why are there these special plateaus? Why does one specie slowly, ever so slowly, evolve from one form to another before it seems to settle in, while everything in between, which was capable of survival better than the original species that still exists, dies out, without a fossil? I know fossil creation is a very unlikely process, therefore making fossil discovery very rare compared to the population as a while.


It is because of that knowledge that I find it so remarkable that we run into these set species, and several fossils of each, typically, yet nothing that seems to be a transitional form.

A transtitional species isn't going to be any different than a regular 'set' species. Its allways just a species that is adapted to its environment, a population of organisms that are being subjected to changing selective pressures. So we look at the record, and see an allosaur and a tyrannosaur and say, these are endpoints, the one underwent a transition and became the other, and then sensibly ask where is that transition. But in reality, we have the transition between two other points, say very primitive dinosaurs and very advanced tyrannosaurs. Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus are transitions along that 'path'.

Another way to look at it is with the idea of the missing link in human evolution. We can say that man evolved from chimps (roughly). So we want to see the transitions between man and chimp, things that are mixes of both. We called this the missing link. Now, the thing is, the original population of chimps wasn't necessariyl subjected to pressure to make them into men, rather they, like all species, were simply populations of animals that were being subjected to selection pressures for their own little environment. Man is not the 'end point", or the plateau, any more than the chimp is the plateau. Because before the chimp there are other more primitive things that eventually happened to become chimps.
Anyway, the missing link was eventually found.
It was a 'stable' species, lets say it was lucy, australpithecus. It was doing what all species do, maintaining its 'species barriers', being set and stable, not mixing with other species that co-existed with it. But, at the same time, its being subjected to evolutionary pressures, and its changing, over long periods of time, into man.
If we could look at a 'video' of the whole process from chimp to man, we'd see constantly changing organisms with no distinct lines between them, sometimes more chimp like, sometime smore man like (20% chimp, 80% man, etc etc). It'd be silly to say that from frames 5 to 10 its 'australpithecus' and from frames 11-15 its 'homo habilis'. But we don't have that video, all we have is specimins from rather haphazard points along that process. And we give those points names like australpithecus and homo habilis, while recognizing that there are any numer of other populations between those two that could all be named.


So in the modern world we have rabbits, distinct from rats and chipmunks. Whereas in the fossil record, we have samplings of species from all those points, and we can't talk about 'definite rabbits' at some points. In the case of birds, we have the 'dino-birds'. You simply can't call these specimins definite dinosaurs nor definite birds, they're just points in a blended spectrum of forms. We just happen to only have one set, the birds, alive today.

So any population that is interbreeding is a species. Thats why we are able to assign fossil specimens to a species. A transitional form would, when found in the record, have characteristics of both 'plateaus' (say dinosaur teeth, snouts, hands, tails, claws, alongwith birdy feathers, backbones, skull sutures, perching feet, etc) and still, at the same time, be a stable species.

Just like a platypus. It has fur but lays eggs. Its a transitional. Its also a species. And its nicely adapted to its environment.


This 'deep time' aspect of paleontology really results in a world that is very different from the one we are used to. It has odd implications, like the one you are bringing up, with 'distinct speices' having to also undergo 'transitions', which seems completely contradictory.


Wow, that was a ramble. I hope there was some sense in there!

[edit on 3-8-2005 by Nygdan]



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 03:54 PM
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Actually, it is my understanding that the latest popular evolutionary theory is one of Punctuated equilibrium. In other words, evolution is not really a gradual process, but one that occurs in sudden spurts as a result of environmental pressures.

Transitional fossils are extremely rare, because they are geographically and temporally isolated.



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