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Transitional Fossils

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posted on Jun, 20 2004 @ 03:57 PM
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A few discussions about evolution and its flaws, led me to start searching for more information and websites about one of the biggest mysteries in the whole evolution "fairytale"; the absence of transitional fossils.
Do they even exist? How can you tell wether we're dealing with a transitional fossil and not a fossil of an animal with a unique mutation, result of some DNA flaw?

Since evolution is an ongoing proces, shouldn't every single fossil be transitional in a way if the "theory" is correct?
I was wondering wether anyone has good sites or info about these supposed missing pieces of proof for a theory that's getting weaker by the day...

[edit on 20-6-2004 by Jakko]




posted on Jun, 20 2004 @ 04:01 PM
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Jakko,
I've done some research looking for evidence of transitional lifeforms. After all that, I've found what I suspected all along. You can't find what has not existed.



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 04:44 AM
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A wee bit of hunting turned up The Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ and Evolution - Transitionals and Observed Speciation.

A large part of the problem is that for fossilization to occur, certain conditions must be met, such as quick burial in a medium with preservative properties. While there are definitely gaps in the fossil record, new discoveries are being made all the time, and usually by accident.



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 07:06 AM
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A man is walking down the street and he has a hole in a pocket and loses 2.25cents in change. 6 quarters 5 nickels 4 dimes and 10 pennes
A copple roll into the gutter and down the sweer some are picked up by the town drunk a few are picked up by kids. By the time this is done you come along and find 25 cents in change and conclude that some one lost a quarter . This is fossils as well animals come along and scater the bones and such .And wile I dont know the excat number of dinos found to date I bet its under a 1000 . And farther more I bet there were more typs of dinos then 1000 . So if your trying to prove evolution by just fossels you can forget it . It would take thousands of fossels of just one typ of animal to be able to show the evolutionary changes.



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 07:43 AM
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One of the problems on scientific facts about evolution comes from wide spread suppression of information.

In 1880, J.D. Whitney, the state geologist of California, published a lengthy review of advanced stone tools found in California gold mines, this was found underneath, thick, undisturbed layers of lave, information ranging from 9 million years to over 55 million years old.

In the early 1950s, Thomas E. lee of the National Museum of Canada found advanced stone tools in glacial deposits at Sheguiandah, on Manitoulin Island in northern Huron. These tools were at least 65,000 years old. Sad to say Human has only been first in the North America from Siberia about 12,000years ago.

Thomas E. Lee was taken away from his position and became unemployed, his findings and publications banned from view and the tons of artifacts were vanished into storage bins of the National Museum of Canada. The director of the National Museum was also fired. Because he tried to keep in circulation the few artifacts that were still around. The site of these discoveries was turn into a tourist resort.

All this in an effort of keeping the know history of the earth and human kind the way it has been, so new discovers of any scientific proves are keep hidden.

Sometime foosil are discovered but taken from their original sites to labs and research centers taking away the valuable information that the original surounding areas may bring. And most of the time distruying the fosil itself and the sites were they were found.

The smisonian have tons and tons of bones, fossil and artifacts that will never be analyze or shown to the public roting in their and gathering dust in their archaives because is better to keep things the way they are than to change history.


www.pbagalleries.com...

nersp.nerdc.ufl.edu...


I hpoe this help a little bit with your inquiry



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 08:20 AM
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I think that if you dig a bit deeper, Marg, you'll find that the second story isn't true as it was stated -- that the real facts were changed to provide drama. Whitney published, yes, but in the 1800's, dating was in its infancy and the techniques led to a lot of errors. I don't know how he came up with his date or his identification, but I do know that old dating techniques are not terribly accurate.

And old identifications are suspect, too, because we didn't have a lot of material. It wasn't until we had modern museum collections that we had a lot of things (artifacts, bones, etc) to use in comparing and evaluating that we could better classify things... like tools and pottery.

The Smithsonian does, indeed, have a LOT of fossil material and modern material, and all it takes to get to it is a research request. Fill out the paperwork, prove a need/interest, and you can have access. There've been a number of shows on the Discovery Channel that mention in passing finding interesting bones and things when researchers go looking for material to identify something they've found.

(At this point, after going to an archaeological dig last week and going into field school and learning how to identify Real Tools from Rocks That Look Sorta Like Tools, I have a different perspective on the thing.)

Thanks, Hecate, for finding and posting the link. I was gonna do that.



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 08:27 AM
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Telling you my own oppinion I don't trust the modern days datings of archaelogy finds, like anything else they are born to human error, but I do think that somethings are kept away from public eyes.



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 10:05 AM
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Interesting links hecate, I'm not done reading them yet, but I will read them asap.

One of the things I don't understand is this:

If (over a big period of time) organisms do change into new organisms, forming families of new organisms, wouldn't this mean that:

1. All organisms are in a transitional state all the time.
2. All fossiles are supposed to be transitional.
3. The amount of different species grows exponentially. (somewhat limited by natural selection)

I am trying to look at the big picture here:

If we used to be apes, then apes used to be something else as well, and then we will be something else as well.
If we used to be apes, apes somehow "split up" ,a part became human, a part stayed ape, a part became different types of apes.
Same goes for humans, a part will stay human, a part will become several other "species".
Every single type in the tree splits up into several new types, leading to (in the end) an unlimited amount of different kinds of species.

This seems pretty weird to me, and when I look around the species in this world just don't seem to fit into this picture.

Besides this, how do we know wether a transitional fossile is not really an extinct species? Or a uniquely mutated organism?

And if it took that much time for "creature 1" to become "creature 2", there should be not only be fossiles of "1" and "2".
Not even of 1 and 1.5 and 2.
There should be fossiles of 1.0001, 1.0002, 1.0003, 1.0004 etc. etc. going all the way to 2.
Because the transition did not start at 1 or end at 2, every single fossile coming from a different time, should be slightly changed.
Gaps can not be result of the fossilation proces being rare.
Creature 1.002 was around for thousands of years, the chance that creature 1.003 suddenly, by some coincidence did not leave any good fossiles is just nihil.
Am I rambling?



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 12:28 PM
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Not to Flame here or anything, but please look at both sides, there is alot more evidence to prove Evolution than creation. Where evolution has Some fact even if some cannot be proven or people will complain about carbon dating etc. You cannot deny there were dinosaurs (as some creationist do) etc. there are some transitional Fossils. What about Tiger and Lions and other type of CATS. Now does it prove we came from apes no. But its surly proves One species can have drastic changes.

There is not 1 shred of evidence for Creation except a story.

And I am not against religion either. Just if I was a Jury and presented with Factual evidence from both side (the things that are theories would be left out) Evolution still beats Creation.



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 01:58 PM
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This is not a creation vs evolution discussion, we allready have enough of those...
I just wanted to hear some opinions and information about transitional fossiles, because the entire story of evolution depends on it.

[edit on 21-6-2004 by Jakko]



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
Telling you my own oppinion I don't trust the modern days datings of archaelogy finds, like anything else they are born to human error, but I do think that somethings are kept away from public eyes.


Marg, have you ever gone on any archaeology expeditions? I have. Just came back from one and have learned some things about how items are dated.

For the sake of discussion, what is it that you know about dating that makes you think modern archaeological dating can't be trusted -- but older archaeological dating CAN be trusted? (which is the reverse of what I think/found out)



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by Jakko
If (over a big period of time) organisms do change into new organisms, forming families of new organisms, wouldn't this mean that:

1. All organisms are in a transitional state all the time.

Yes. That's correct -- until they go extinct. Yes, that includes dear old homo sapiens.



2. All fossiles are supposed to be transitional.

Not quite. What they mean by "transitional" is "sorta midway in the process of changing from one species or subspecies to another. To give you an example, we have quite a number of homo erectus fossils (the direct ancestor of homo sapiens.) We have lots of homo sapiens fossils and materials. But, because the change is gradual and there's a LOT of overlap (the distinguishing characteristics are brow ridges (which some modern humans have), skull thickness (varies with individual), and a number of other things that are fairly subtle and some of which are common today), we can't point to one thing and say "Hey! Midpoint!"

It's kind of like looking at a rainbow... can you point to the EXACT place where green becomes blue? You know what green is. You know what blue is. You can see some things that are greenish blue and bluish green... but the exact midpoint is... what? Green? Blue?

Same thing with transitional fossils.


3. The amount of different species grows exponentially. (somewhat limited by natural selection)

Not so. A lot of times they will supplant the older species because they're fighting for the same econiche and they're more efficient at using it.


If we used to be apes, then apes used to be something else as well, and then we will be something else as well.


No.
Yes.
Yes.

Sorry -- we didn't used to be apes. We're anthropoids, and so are apes. Tigers and housecats are both felines, but tigers didn't used to be housecats and house cats didn't used to be tigers.


If we used to be apes, apes somehow "split up" ,a part became human, a part stayed ape, a part became different types of apes.

No. That's an old misperception of what evolution means -- one of the orignal canards (and false!) used to try and debunk evolution.


Same goes for humans, a part will stay human, a part will become several other "species".

H. sapiens will probably die off as h. ubermensch (or whatever the future direction is) becomes prominent. If we make it to the stars, the starfaring groups may develop socially and physically in ways that are different from those staying here on Earth.


Every single type in the tree splits up into several new types, leading to (in the end) an unlimited amount of different kinds of species.
This seems pretty weird to me, and when I look around the species in this world just don't seem to fit into this picture.

Simply because you forgot to factor in the possibility that species don't split off wildly like amoebas. Species extinction occurs... otherwise, we'd have 30 or 40 different types of mammoths and elephants and their cousins traipsing around.


Besides this, how do we know wether a transitional fossile is not really an extinct species? Or a uniquely mutated organism?

(see the "green and blue" discussion above.)


And if it took that much time for "creature 1" to become "creature 2", there should be not only be fossiles of "1" and "2".
Not even of 1 and 1.5 and 2.
There should be fossiles of 1.0001, 1.0002, 1.0003, 1.0004 etc. etc. going all the way to 2.

Not everything is turned into fossils.

A fossil is a piece of organic matter that is turned completely to stone. This doesn't mean "covered with a stone covering" but "actually turned into stone." It takes special conditions (like not getting eaten into tiny shreds by scavengers) and special burial (like not being left somewhere that scavengers can eat the body) to turn something into a fossil.

Take a walk around a park sometime and look at the number of dead birds (or squirrels) you see. There's almost none -- because other animals come along and eat them. If you were using your example, then you'd have to conclude that there was no such creature as a squirrel or a bird because you can't find any trace of their dead bodies.



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 02:31 PM
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1. All organisms are in a transitional state all the time.
2. All fossiles are supposed to be transitional.
3. The amount of different species grows exponentially. (somewhat limited by natural selection)


I point you to this exact topic on a Christian forum: www.christianforums.com...


I am trying to look at the big picture here:


I hate to say this, but at the present time, there's no way we can do that. Maybe if from its earliest days mankind had preserved and catalogued every bone fragment it came across we would have a complete picture, but even lacking that, there is a surfeit of evidence that transitional fossils do indeed exist. I'm not trying to start a creationist vs. evolutionist argument here, merely showing that the "no transitional fossils" premise is a false one.


If we used to be apes, then apes used to be something else as well, and then we will be something else as well[...]

This seems pretty weird to me, and when I look around the species in this world just don't seem to fit into this picture.


I suggest you read the FAQs given and a little bit into basic evolution theory.


Besides this, how do we know wether a transitional fossile is not really an extinct species? Or a uniquely mutated organism?

And if it took that much time for "creature 1" to become "creature 2", there should be not only be fossiles of "1" and "2".
Not even of 1 and 1.5 and 2.
There should be fossiles of 1.0001, 1.0002, 1.0003, 1.0004 etc. etc. going all the way to 2.
Because the transition did not start at 1 or end at 2, every single fossile coming from a different time, should be slightly changed.
Gaps can not be result of the fossilation proces being rare.
Creature 1.002 was around for thousands of years, the chance that creature 1.003 suddenly, by some coincidence did not leave any good fossiles is just nihil.


The FAQs answer these questions. And as I said, there have to be certain conditions for fossil creation, and there are a great number of unexamined fossils that may very well fill in some of the gaps. It's unrealistic to expect a precise, unbroken procession of fossils considering the enormity of the time range being discussed, and it must be said that even Darwin underestimated the amount of fossils that HAVE been discovered.



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 05:15 PM
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Byrd,

Well, I took anthropology back in my college days,( way back ) I really like it but at the time that is not what my family wanted for me, I love archaeology and I do follow the discoveries, as a matter of fact my daughter is going to take some subjects in like medical anthropology and archaeology during her third year in college as electives (her major is biology) and is because she have been influenced by my love in the subject, about dating or the new carbon dating I am not comfortable with it but that is whats best this days, about going to a dig, no everybody is as lucky as you and I envy you, but reading and living others experience is all I have now.



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 05:31 PM
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Thanks Byrd for your excellent explanation.
I still have some questions though.


Originally posted by Byrd
But, because the change is gradual and there's a LOT of overlap (the distinguishing characteristics are brow ridges (which some modern humans have), skull thickness (varies with individual), and a number of other things that are fairly subtle and some of which are common today), we can't point to one thing and say "Hey! Midpoint!"


Exactly, but considering that every variation spent quite a lot of time on earth, it's not weird to expect that fossiles from different stages in time, show a clear movement from one species to another, even with the gaps.



Not so. A lot of times they will supplant the older species because they're fighting for the same econiche and they're more efficient at using it.


This did not happen in all cases, or we wouldn't be here.
So this would mean only when changes occur that do not affect the ability to survive, a type of species can "split up" into more types.
But this would mean that these changes are too small or unimportant to split a group of animals up in the first place. The "unique" types of animals will simply mix back in with the unchanged ones, balancing any change out.

In general, how can these changes ever be fast enough to lead to a new type of species? Changes that occur too slow are just undone, either by natural selection, or by re-mixing.

When I look around in this world, I simply see more types of species die and stop to exist, than new ones are evolved.
This is not the result of humans only, dinosaurs died without our help, as did many other types of species.

If the extremely complicated and diverse array of species that we have today is result of evolution, doesn't this imply that evolution at least creates more types of species in the time natural selection kills types of species?
Doesn't this imply that evolution is a fast proces, faster than the time it takes for species to become extinct.
Why has this not been the case for the last X thousand of years?
We see dieing specie types every day, yet new species are formed so slowly and in such a subtile way, that it almost takes imagination to spot the first steps of this change, let stand call it a new species.

Sorry for all these questions, it just does not seem to make sense for me...



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 07:10 PM
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Here is a book that deals with the topic in detail. I haven't finished all of it, but its interesting:

Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race
by Michael A. Cremo, Richard L. Thompson



[edit on 21-6-2004 by spangbr]



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 07:32 PM
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Oh god lets PLEASE not start another Evolution vs Creationism vs Biogenesis vs Macroevolution vs Microevelution. There are plenty of these already. At least lets stick to things not beaten to death.

Having said that, there are many theories on evolution. Some show very gradual transition of spieces into others, some show rapid change due to extreme conditions. The former case seems to suggest a larger number of transition fossils, while the latter would result in much fewer fossils "inbetween" species.

All theories on evolution cant be right, and most likely some of them are in part. I say lets not make assumptions and just because it seems to be some way, we should not jump to conclusions and declare something "bunk". Anything in science can/will be proved someday so lets work towards that.



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 07:35 PM
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Originally posted by Jakko
When I look around in this world, I simply see more types of species die and stop to exist, than new ones are evolved.
This is not the result of humans only, dinosaurs died without our help, as did many other types of species.

If the extremely complicated and diverse array of species that we have today is result of evolution, doesn't this imply that evolution at least creates more types of species in the time natural selection kills types of species?
Doesn't this imply that evolution is a fast proces, faster than the time it takes for species to become extinct.
Why has this not been the case for the last X thousand of years?
We see dieing specie types every day, yet new species are formed so slowly and in such a subtile way, that it almost takes imagination to spot the first steps of this change, let stand call it a new species.

Sorry for all these questions, it just does not seem to make sense for me...


This was published in New Scientist recently. I'm afraid I don't have a subscription, which is necessary to access their archive on the web, so I can't post a link, but here goes.
Scientists have recently discovered a gene which suppresses mutation. This allows mutations to build up in family lines, without expressing and changing the formof the creature. When scientists stop this gene expressing, different family lines of flies will express a wide range of mutations in their offspring, with consistency in any given family line. For example, where one family of flies has extra wings, shorter legs, and a harder chitinous shell, another only grows a single eye, no wings, and extra antenna. Grossly simplified example, but you see what I mean.
These scientists have found this gene in a variety of creatures, and posit that it might be a constant, which is found in all creatures. NOr do they know what would stop the gene expressing naturally, but they do believe that this may be related to ho evolution actually progresses. They believe that it is somehow triggered by mass extinction events (though I couldn't say how), with the effect that the mutations which have been supressed previously suddenly start to express in children, leading to an increased diversity of creatures which in turn promotes further speciation.
This is just a recent discovery,and more work will need to be done before all the implications of the gene are worked out,but it seemed relevant to your question.



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 07:40 PM
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Agreed, Shark, on all points.

For an example of how quick evolution can be, see this: Finch Beak Data Sheet. The chances of each change being fossilized so as to provide an unbroken record of finch evolution is rather small.



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 01:25 AM
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slight adjustments of some birds hardly proves that fish turned into amphibians and so on.....or for that matter reptiles turning into birds... think about it, how is a reptile with 2 feathers better of than a reptile with 1 feather, it doesnt help unless flight is achieved



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