What transitional form will we have this week?

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posted on Nov, 28 2008 @ 08:54 AM
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JPhish

first off, i'm not addressing any singular post, but . . .

Scientific evidence merely means that it was obtained through the scientific method. Nothing more. It does not mean it's valid.

Environmental adaption is not evolution.

"The Theory of Evolution" is pretty much explained with it's name. It's a theory.

Technically there has never been a transitional species found; only creatures with slight variation in characteristics, but still completely congruent within known species, or simply different species. Even if an ancient transitional species was found, it would sadly be next to impossible to confirm this, because of the fallacies of fossil interpretation. Finding a transitional species alive n' kicking would be great.


Creationists are the ultimate sceptics, they will believe in men being raised from the dead and talking to ghosts that can impregnate virgins without even a shred of evidence but when confronted with the evidence for biological evolution, they transform into staunch critics upholding the highest burdens of proof ever constructed.

The theory of evolution is actually supported with a wide variety of evidence. Evolution is right up there with the basic principles of elementary physics in terms of observational support. In the face of such overwhelming evidence, critics adopt standards of such unreasonableness that virtually nothing can be considered true if we applied such standards across all areas of enquiry and knowledge.

The creationist argument is based on selectively rasing standards, if other preposed ideas were supported by evidence to the degree that biological evolution is, creationists would certainly not doubt these ideas – for example the theory of gravity and the atomic theory.
However the theory of evolution is fare game for doubt because creationists selectively demand implausible degrees of evidence for its truth and won’t accept anything less.

Common creationist arguments that utilize this tactic are numerous, for instance they often make the following claims

– There aren’t that many transitional fossils, scientists should have found more.
– Scientists can’t explain in full detail how life first arose or how sex evolved.
– Scientific claims are provisional and are always subject to disproof, why should we believe in evolution if it could be wrong
– Macro-evolution that produces grand and complex changes has never been “observed”

They make these statements even in the face of maintains of evidence, like the complete set of transitional fossils from a fox like creature to the modern day horse. Notice how these facts can only truly be considered criticisms of evolutionary theory of we expected complete and total mathematical proof for biological evolution. The problem of course is empirical science do not deal with formal proofs of absolute certainty, they must instead rely on evidence and probability – like much of our everyday knowledge.

In normal scenarios creationists do not have such high standards of proof, if for instance they found a half eaten deer sounded by wolf paw prints the reasonable conclusion is that the wolfs ate the dear. If subsequently they found wolfs near by covered in deer blood and analysed the vomit of one wolf and found that it contained deer meat, that would be further evidence in support of the rather obvious conclusion that the wolfs at the deer.

Now if some wolf-loving sceptic wonted to protect the wolves from this charge of murder, he could adopt the creationist strategy and utilize unreasonable high standards of proof to shield him away from criticism. He could argue for instance that because no one ‘observed’ the wolf eating the deer, we can doubt the conclusion. For the sceptic, all the evidence pointing toward to wolves means nothing to him if we cannot directly observe the event. He could also remark that the wolf theory leaves out certain details for instance, it doesn’t tell us exactly how many wolves were involved or whether the wolves attacked from the left side or the right side or whether the dear happened to be looking down at its feet when the attack occurred. They could argue the deer are faster then wolves so it’s impossible. The sceptic could argue that these ‘gaps in the theory’ rule out the wolf hypothesis.

Of course any reasonable person can see that the wolf sceptic sets his standards of proof way too high. We need not to directly observe the event, nor explain every trite and inane detail in order to know the wolves did indeed eat the deer. The evidence of the eaten deer, the wolf paw prints and the blood splattered wolves, the deer meat in the vomit and so on, all show without a doubt that the deer was eaten by the wolves.

Creationists use almost the exact same sort of arguments against evolution. When they argue that huge biological changes resulting from evolution have never been observed, they do not realize that scientist need not directly observe single cell organisms becoming primates in order to reasonably conclude that such an event occurred. Just as those who believe that the wolves ate the deer do not need directly observe the event to know that it truly happened given the abundance of evidence supporting the claim.

When creationists argue there are gaps in the fossil record they fail to realize that geology predicts such gaps and his hardly reasonable to expect every species that ever lived to become fossilized. They also fail to realize that the few transitional forms that have been found are solid evidence for evolution. If for instance one could not find the paw prints of one particular blood covered wolf, it wouldn’t necessarily indicate that the other wolfs whose paw prints were found did not eat the deer. The missing paw print of one wolf is not evidence that he didn’t eat, because the more plausible explanation given the evidence of his blood covered fur is that he ate the deer but perhaps did not leave any prints or that his prints were destroyed by the other wolves walking over them.

The creationist criticism that scientists cannot explain a very specific and complex event like the evolution of sex with absolute accuracy and then remarking that this is evidence against evolution, is like claiming that because we cannot explain how the wolves caught the deer, the wolf scenario must be false. Clearly such an argument would only hold any force for someone with unreasonable expectations of evidence, who for some reason believe that we must prove everything with complete certainty. Even though the sort of accuracy is impossible outside of mathematics.

If one adopts this sort of stance of irrational doubt and applies it to any holy book, it’s clear that they fall short of this high standard of proof. Indeed one of the most interesting things about creationists, is their ability to have such high standards for something like evolution while at the same time having virtually no standards of poof for claims about religion – often justifying those beliefs with faith. One would think the creationists would be consistent with his standards of proof but he sets evolution to such a high standard, because he finds implications inconsistent with his religious worldview.

Basic reasoning and scepticism will suffice in debunking most religious claims, one can only imagine how quickly religious beliefs would be debunked if one approached them in the extreme scepticism, the likes of which creationists brand us as evolution. We can only hope they apply this scepticism to their religion one day….

[edit on 28-11-2008 by andre18]




posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 10:05 PM
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This week: the possible ancestor of all jawed vertebrates.

415-million-year-old Acanthodes fossil


The study also suggests that some acanthodians are ancestors to all modern jawed vertebrates.

Of course, every form is transitional, even if only along the route to extinction. But it's no good confusing the creationistas with complex ideas.



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:04 AM
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Reviving this old-but-good thread to post this.



No, no, they're fins. Good, eh?



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:53 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Hi Asty.

It's a fish, my friend. Always was, always will be.

Looks perfectly designed for life on the seabed.

Nice design:

1) Camouflage looks awesome. Only someone who knew what would hide it in it's environment could have made it look so convincingly like a plant.

2) It's got a fishing rod. The worm not only looks like a worm, it moves like one. Ingenuity that comes from (very) intelligent design.

3) Fins adapted for sea-bed locomotion. Just what the little blighter needs. So that's how it was made.

Nothing to see here. Transitional forms don't exist. Never have, never will.

Except in the imaginations of those unable to see beyond preconceived notions imposed on the real world.




[edit on 18/2/09 by pause4thought]



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 11:56 AM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 

Yes, of course it's a fish.

A kind of anglerfish, to judge by the lure.

Not a transitional form, just an indication of how evolution works. And a very cute video, which was the actual point of that post.

If you want real transitional forms, there are plenty further up the thread.



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 02:17 AM
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This week: a seal that walked on legs


"The remarkably preserved skeleton of Pujilla had heavy limbs, indicative of well developed muscles, and flattened phalanges (finger or toe bones) which suggest that the feet were webbed - but not flippers," said Mary Dawson from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, US, another of the scientists involved.

"This animal was likely adept at both swimming and walking on land. Pujilla is the evolutionary evidence we have been lacking for so long."

Link

[edit on 23/4/09 by Astyanax]



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 03:41 AM
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This Week: Fins into Limbs

Not a transitional species but something much more exciting: the discovery of one of the key genetic changes behind the transformation of vertebrate fins into limbs, and thus a primary driver of the great vertebrate transition from aquatic existence to life on dry land.

Fin to Limb Evolution Clue Found



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 04:18 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 03:53 AM
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A Big One This Week: a Common Ancestor of Apes and Monkeys

A real big-time 'missing link' this week, folks:


Researchers have discovered the skull of a 29 million-year-old animal that could be a common ancestor of Old World monkeys and apes, including humans. Fossil links humans and monkeys

All the off-topic proselyte posts in the world aren't going to halt the march of science!



posted on Nov, 24 2010 @ 09:23 AM
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Wanted to bump this. Since I keep hearing things about transitional fossils and have a hand thread about it.

To justify this bump, I'm linking to some data about transitional fossils:
About vertebrate transitional forms
An article about a specific transitional fossil
Something interactive from NOVA
And a list of transitions from Wikipedia (that is hardly complete)



posted on Dec, 13 2011 @ 09:33 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 

This week: an African lungfish that uses its fins to walk and jump.

You don't get much more transitional than that.


Pretty, isn’t it?



posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 10:36 AM
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OMG! No transitional fossils have ever been found! Where's the evidence??



posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 12:18 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Hi Asty.


This week: an African lungfish that uses its fins to walk and jump.

You don't get much more transitional than that.

...Which is precisely why you have effectively lost the debate! Lungfish are perfectly designed for their habitats, which alternate between wet and dry conditions. Fins that provide mobility both on and off land constitute an integral part of the essential design specification.

As for citing this as 'this week's "transitional form"', I refer you to the response I gave well over 3 years ago, on page 3 of this thread:


As for mudskippers, land-catfish, etc., I regard them as inspiring examples of how creatures were designed that could cope even with the most unpredictable of environments. (Unpredictable to us, but forseen by the Maker.)

I still can't see any evidence for frogs turning into princes.

Link

The complete absence of viable evidence for so-called 'transitional forms' in this thread says it all, really.



posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 03:17 PM
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Originally posted by pause4thought
reply to post by Astyanax
 

The complete absence of viable evidence for so-called 'transitional forms' in this thread says it all, really.


Bahaha. I was only joking in my post above. Creationists keep claiming there are no transitional fossils or creatures out there. This thread proves them wrong, however, and leads them to make fallacious arguments like "they were designed that way". Ok, so first there are none, and now that we have provided tons of examples, they are dismissed instantly as being designed for the environment. What a joke. Leave the science to the big boys. Stick to the fairytales that you blindly believe to be fact. I don't know why Creationists are afraid to admit their beliefs are beliefs and go around attacking science and holding it to the highest scrutiny and claim it has no evidence, while their fundamentalist beliefs have not one iota of evidence. I still have trouble understanding the dishonesty.

If you have kids, then YOU are a transitional species in between your parents and your children. You are not an exact replica of your mother or father, and neither are your children, if you have them. Every fossils is technically a transitional fossil, but no people expect to see nonsense like half monkey half reptile creatures walking around, but that's not how evolution works in the least. .
edit on 14-12-2011 by Barcs because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 04:49 PM
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reply to post by Barcs
 



If you have kids, then YOU are a transitional species in between your parents and your children.

That's precisely the kind of bunk that represents the quality of evidence offered by proponents of evolution.


...You are not an exact replica of your mother or father, and neither are your children, if you have them.

So you equate genetic variation within a species with the development of transitional forms. Pseudo-science at its worst.

I have trouble understanding the dishonesty.


Every fossils is technically a transitional fossil...

Look, my Bunk Meter just maxed out. And you've got the gall to call it big boy science! Sorry, but patronising pseudo-science can fool some of the people some of the time, but (— you know how it goes...)


...but no people expect to see nonsense like half monkey half reptile creatures walking around...

Straw man. Do you ever put any substance in your posts?


...but that's not how evolution works in the least...

Evolution is never observed in the fossil record, period. Some species that are still around are evident, while others that are now extinct are also evident. All fully-formed, with all faculties in place. NOTHING 'transitional'.


Creationists are afraid to admit their beliefs are beliefs...

On the contrary, it is evolutionists who squirm when it is pointed out that their position is based on a preconceived framework and subjective interpretations.


...and go around attacking science...

Are straw men arguments your forté? It is Darwin's complete ignorance of the science of genetics has left a gaping hole in the middle of his theory. Scientists who accept evolution have been falling over themselves for decades trying to come up with a mechanism that could fit the theory that random mutations can produce improvements in genotype. It is well known that many prominent secular scientists have acknowledged that evolution is a theory without an observed mechanism. The only thing that keeps the whole charade going is bloody-minded reluctance to accept the possibility of design, and threats to reputation via the peer review system. Consequently it is scientific observation and experimentation itself that is held up by those who reject evolution in justification of their position.


...while their fundamentalist beliefs have not one iota of evidence...

The use of the emotive term 'fundamentalist' belies your prejudice against the evidence for design.

Every time you observe any self-replicating living organism — a single cell of which is far more complex than anything created by man — never mind the multifaceted integrated whole(!), evidence of design is staring you in the face like an elephant in your bedroom. Painted red.


This thread proves them wrong...

I'm afraid it's just embarrassing to see how you fall back on triumphalistic rhetoric.


...[examples] are dismissed instantly as being designed for the environment...

Not dismissed: this is the blatant fact observed in the natural world. Living organisms ARE well designed for their environment. Even atheists (-though they are admittedly a small minority-) can't help using phrases like "well-designed" when describing the features of living creatures. Because they are!



posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by pause4thought

If you have kids, then YOU are a transitional species in between your parents and your children.

That's precisely the kind of bunk that represents the quality of evidence offered by proponents of evolution.

What exactly is wrong with that argument. Technically it is true. You won't see huge change between yourself and your parents, but you have to admit there is slight change. This slight change over millions of years becomes big. It's not that complicated. I understand that you're taking "transitional" as intermediate species or something exactly in between one species or another. The problem is, the definition applies in both ways. Either way, here's a nice little list of transitional fossils for you to wet your whistle.

en.wikipedia.org... I believe this is the type you are referring to.


...You are not an exact replica of your mother or father, and neither are your children, if you have them.

So you equate genetic variation within a species with the development of transitional forms. Pseudo-science at its worst.

Say what? Genetic variation and mutation is a big part of evolution, as is survival of the fittest. Transitional forms don't just develop. A species moves in the direction of its environment. It could move in one direction for millions of years and then when a major event happens that messes with the environment it will head in a completely different direction. This is why you aren't going to see half breeds or exact mixes of various creatures that exist today.


Look, my Bunk Meter just maxed out. And you've got the gall to call it big boy science! Sorry, but patronising pseudo-science can fool some of the people some of the time, but (— you know how it goes...)


tran·si·tion
 [tran-zish-uhn, -sish-]
noun
1.
movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change: the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

It doesn't have to only refer to "intermediary" species.



Evolution is never observed in the fossil record, period. Some species that are still around are evident, while others that are now extinct are also evident. All fully-formed, with all faculties in place. NOTHING 'transitional'.


Refer to the link in my first point and also please check this out. The fossil record is only part of the proof.

The fossil record and evolution

Very good presentation on evolution. Easy to understand, but if you'd like something more detailed, please let me know.


Are straw men arguments your forté?
Maybe you haven't been reading this section lately, but I haven't said anything that can't be backed up by members posts on here. Read the recent posts in the top 3-4 threads in this section and you'll see numerous people claiming their personal views are facts. Straw man arguments are composed of false info

Start with the links for now. You're not really saying anything that hasn't been reiterated to death in this section. If you got questions, fire away.

edit on 14-12-2011 by Barcs because: (no reason given)
edit on 14-12-2011 by Barcs because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 09:02 PM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


Lungfish are perfectly designed for their habitats, which alternate between wet and dry conditions. Fins that provide mobility both on and off land constitute an integral part of the essential design specification.

Lungfish do not walk on land.


Lungfish do not have any of the anatomical features associated with walking on land. They have no sacrum - the supportive bone at the base of the spine - and no digits (fingers or toes) on their limbs... The fact that they were able to propel themselves along the base of a tank - using the floor as a substrate - suggests that this ability arose before the evolution of digits and before animals made the transition from water to land.

When the body of water in which a lungfish lives dries up, it doesn’t set off across the mudflats looking for a new pond. It buries itself in the mud and waits for the rainy season.


edit on 14/12/11 by Astyanax because: of a laconic impulse.



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Lungfish do not walk on land.

Apologies. I saw your title - 'African lungfish uses fins to walk and jump', and film clips of mudskippers prancing around a shoreline came to my mind's eye. It was use of the word jump that threw me, as I am aware lungfish actually slither along the ground. (In fact the article you refer to does not use the word jump, it actually says "bound" in inverted commas, in an attempt to describe one way in which they are seen to move along at the bottom of a tank of water.)


When the body of water in which a lungfish lives dries up, it doesn’t set off across the mudflats looking for a new pond. It buries itself in the mud and waits for the rainy season.

Agreed, that is its main strategy. Yet it is also able to move short distances across land to get back to water:





Consequently my statement, "Fins that provide mobility both on and off land constitute an integral part of the essential design specification" should be taken to refer to mudskippers. With respect to lungfish, the above clip should suffice to explain why some see yet another creature perfectly designed to meet the (extreme) demands of its environment.

I would go further, and submit than evolution is precluded as an explanation for the design of lungfish on the basis of logic alone. If their forbears had needed to wait around for evolutionary change they would have died out as soon as they encountered their first drought!

The above argument is equally valid for myriad other species which possess features that are essential for survival — often multiple, requiring synchronous implementation. More than one generation for the appearance of these requisite features (fully formed), and it's the end of the line. As for their appearance over thousands / millions of years, it is utterly illogical. Downright preposterous.



[response to Barcs to follow later]

edit on 15/12/11 by pause4thought because: fixed code



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 09:47 PM
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Ok.. What are he requirements for something to be considered a transitional fossil? Why can't a fossil of this modern day creature, or this modern day creature itself not be considered a transition between whatever?




posted on May, 31 2013 @ 10:45 PM
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This Week: How the Turtle Got its Shell

Turtles at a cleaning station. Photo by David Fleetham Source

Welcome back to the Real Just So Stories. This thread was originally started by a much-missed member, madnessinmysoul, in response to the frequently-stated creationist claim that there are 'no transitional forms' or 'no missing links' to bear out the theory of evolution. I've kept it going, on and off, since he left us.

The creationist claim is nonsense, of course. Transitional forms abound in the fossil record. And here's the latest – a real beauty, an intermediate that shows how ribs evolved into shells.


How the turtle got its unique hard shell


A turtle's shell is unique in that it is made up of around 50 bones, with ribs, shoulder bones and vertebrae fused together to form a hard external shell. How it forms today can be observed in a developing turtle embryo. Ribs broaden first followed by the broadening of vertebrae. The final state is the development of an outer layer of skin on the perimeter of the shell.

"The turtle shell is a complex structure whose initial transformations started over 260 million years ago in the Permian period," said lead author of the study, Dr Tyler Lyson from the Smithsonian Institution and Yale University. "The shell evolved over millions of years and was gradually modified into its present-day shape."

'Macroevolution', anyone?

edit on 31/5/13 by Astyanax because: of layout trouble.





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