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Creationist Confusion

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posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 12:05 AM
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Originally posted by Aeon10101110
Why all the bruhaha about zircons? In my experience, creationists find much more interesting unexplained phenomena to dissect ad nauseum.

I will respond to this statement only be reasserting that I am not a creationist, never argued in favor of creation, and don't see myself ever arguing in favor of creation. All I ever said was that evolution is not a "scientific fact" as people are so found of stating; I will continue to stand by this assertion. I further said that I could present much evidence that would argue against it, which I did. If someone can point out to me where I've argued for creation over evolution please do.

Otherwise, I will for the moment say thanks for the informative post. I can't say I familiar with any of the info you've presented and will need to examine it for myself.




posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 12:14 AM
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Originally posted by Aeon10101110
Many scientists have belief in God, myself among them. But I can not believe that God would misdirect our inquisitive minds by creating Earth in such a way as to deceive us. But there are many doctrines in the Bible that are highly confusing, after all, it was written by men. More confusion is yielded when others interpret it and 'cherry-pick' which directives to observe. So, what is more believable, a planet forged by God or a book written, rewritten and subject to interpretations (because of clarity issues) by fallible men?



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 12:31 AM
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Originally posted by Aeon10101110
Uranium-lead isotopic analyses of zircon crystals have long been used as the most reliable method of determining the crystallization ages of felsic igneous rocks. Because of the chemical resistance of zircon to alteration by subsequent thermal metamorphism, determining the original age of emplacement of even highly deformed igneous bodies is often possible. In fact, zircon may be insoluble and its U-Pb system may remain at least partially undisturbed even through subsequent melting events. Igneous rocks derived from crustal protoliths commonly have zircons with xenocrystic cores. Uranium-lead analyses of such zircon produces apparent ages that are intermediate between the age of the protolith and the age of emplacement. Consequently, care must be taken in both the selection of individual zircons from the sample of interest and the interpretation of the data. A rare example of xenocrystic zircon coexisting as a discreet population with igneous zircon has been found in a granite dike in Estadio Canyon in the southern Manzano Mountains, central New Mexico.
Aeon, with respect to Zircon, while I do believe that there are unresolved issues with radioisotope dating techiniques, the point of the zircon argument was based more on the rates of diffusion of He from zircon crystals. My point was there is evidence contained in Zircon crystals in the form of undiffused He, suggesting that these crystals may not be as old as initially postulated.


But how does the creationist notion explain the intrusion of huge magmatic bodies of molten rock into the solid crust of the earth? Certainly it could not be the way that data are distributed when plotted, which confirm relative age-dating by way of superpositional characteristics! Moreover, the creation time-frame is inadequate to account for not only the emplacement, but the cooling that has occured in so many of them. Concordantly, the plutons, as they are known, have smaller crystals around their outer regions where cooling is rapid and larger crytallization is progressively noted towards central areas. Modeling of heat transport, a very well-studied physical phenomenon, is indicative that the requisite period is in the tens of millions of years for such bodies. Of course, that is merely for the cooling process. Such a time frame considers only the cooling, not the upwelling of magma into the crust, not subsequent erosional processes of this igneous rock, nor for that matter, any of the events that had to occur for the magma and crust to exist in the first place! Fortunately, the metric of isotopic decay provides rock ages, though in terms of millions of years (Ma), consistent with other observations.
While I appreciate the obvious effort that went into assembling this post, I can't say that I am familiar with most of it. I will need to spend some time reviewing what you've written here and do some literature searches.



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 12:42 AM
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Originally posted by mattison0922

Originally posted by Aeon10101110
Why all the bruhaha about zircons? In my experience, creationists find much more interesting unexplained phenomena to dissect ad nauseum.

I will respond to this statement only be reasserting that I am not a creationist, never argued in favor of creation, and don't see myself ever arguing in favor of creation. All I ever said was that evolution is not a "scientific fact" as people are so found of stating; I will continue to stand by this assertion. I further said that I could present much evidence that would argue against it, which I did. If someone can point out to me where I've argued for creation over evolution please do.

Otherwise, I will for the moment say thanks for the informative post. I can't say I familiar with any of the info you've presented and will need to examine it for myself.


Forgive me, but I get the distinct impression from the data you present, as well as arguments, that you are advancing the idea that Earth's age is small and evolution is a ruse or chimera. Such ideas are consistent with those of religious fundamentalists.

I certainly maintain that science is dynamic, both in theory and practice (literally and figuratively). But perhaps I am convinced beyond any doubt that evolution is fact, as is the Earth's extreme age. And this is due to many lines of evidence.

Indeed, this thread is proving quite informative, not to mention enjoyable. Similarly, I do not desire detract from your enjoyment by way of assuming any untruth.

[edit on 11-11-2004 by Aeon10101110]



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 09:15 AM
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Forgive me, but I get the distinct impression from the data you present, as well as arguments, that you are advancing the idea that Earth's age is small and evolution is a ruse or chimera. Such ideas are consistent with those of religious fundamentalists.

I certainly maintain that science is dynamic, both in theory and practice (literally and figuratively). But perhaps I am convinced beyond any doubt that evolution is fact, as is the Earth's extreme age. And this is due to many lines of evidence.

Indeed, this thread is proving quite informative, not to mention enjoyable. Similarly, I do not desire detract from your enjoyment by way of assuming any untruth.

Aeon, thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt. I can understand why you might interpret this based on the nature of my refs., the flavor of my posts, and in some cases the derivation of the information. While you might be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that (macro)evolution is a fact, I personally am not. There are reasons for this. As I said, I grew up an atheist, and my training for more than the last decade of my life is as a molecular biologist. I work in a very mainstream molecular biology job, and I publish in mainstream scientific journals. Despite my strong ties to evolutionary theories, based on all the information I've been exposed to, I can no longer insist it is a fact. If you had caught me 5 or 6 years ago, I'd be right here with you arguing against the 'fundies'. There is obviously evidence of adaptation in organisms, but there exists spotty, inconsistent, and often highly speculative evidence in support of macro evolution. While it may appear that I am arguing for a young earth, which I stated I was something I could do, it's because I was. But I am doing this in a particular context. I am bringing it up to encourage people to explore the info for themselves. Contrary to what seems to be the consensus opinion on this thread, bad science does NOT equal science that goes against what you personally believe. Bad science needs to be judged on a case by case basis, and not applied wholesale to entire schools of thought. Different beliefs, different schools of thought, and contradictory results are some of the aspects that fuel true scientific progress. Many people, yourself probably included, were probably unaware of many of the issues that I raised. Maybe someone will be inspired to explore for info for themselves. If the price of waking up some members of the populace is appearing to be a fundie in an anonymous on-line forum, then so be it. It's really a small price to pay. People, this info is out there; it exists, and it's up to you to access it, read it, process it, and form your own opinion. You don't need Aeon, mattison0922, or frickin' talkorigins.com to spoonfeed it to you. Knowledge, and science in particular, is not about perpetuating or maintaining your own narrow system of beliefs; evangelical and fundamentalist religions do a good enough job of this. Thus, I make it my business to read as much as I can about not only my own area of expertise, but my 'hobby' areas as well. This occasionally may draw me into realms not typically traversed by mainstream scientists. However, IMO, this makes me a better, more critical scientist. It would actually be nice to be able to put my faith in evolution; it would certainly make my life easier, and conversations in the breakroom, over lunch, and in the halls a little less intense.

[edit on 11-11-2004 by Aeon10101110]



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 03:50 PM
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schmick
As such, evolution should be taught as an 'elective'.

That would however be predicated on evolution being a beleif, rather than a science. Since its a science, it gets taught to everyone in science class. One should no more keep regular students from learning evolution than one should allow luddites to have their children taught in special 'no electricity' class rooms. Also, religion, as religion, shouldn't be taught in any public schools, even as an elective. As you noted, there are religious private schools that can address those issues. If a student wants to learn more about a religion, then they can do it on their own time, not suck up tax dollars and staff to do it.

Why? Does being forced to know the 'theory' of evolution add any additional value or skill sets in life?
Theo. Dobzhansky once remarked 'Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of Evolution'. And indeed, evolution is the unify concept of all of biology. It explains the knowledge gained thru comparative anatomy, genetics, ontogeny, and paleontology. Biology is a basic science, evolution is a central theme in it, and thus is should be taught. What value does learning calculus give to students who aren't going to use it? For that matter, what good does anything that is taught in public schools give students? The barely necessary teachings could probably stop years before graduation. But I don't hear anyone calling for that. Also, evolution does have other practical uses. Evolutionary Algorithms alow more powerful computer programs to be designed and 'better' products to be developed. An understanding of evolution allows people to understand and coutneract why anti-biotics and the like become less usefull over time. Heck, it is thought to even allow one to make comparative medecinal studies of disease causing organisms and find better ways to combat them. And, again, biology is a Core science, and evolution is central to it. Even if it had no 'practical' purposes at all, it should still be taught. Or would you argue that students should merely receive vocational training in the jobs they are most likely to get?



Possibly if you are interested in that subject for future study, but for the majority of people on the earth, they really do not think about it.

The majority of the people on the planet don't think about very much of anything at all.


Do you use the theory of evolution every day?

What scientific information, heck what information given to people in schools is used every day in the first place? Why is evolution being singled out? Gosh, could it be because it makes certain religionists uncomfortable?


If you argue religion as a theory, and evolution as a theory (none can be proven 100% as fact) then there is no place for the compulsory learning of these theories in the classroom.

Problem is, religion is not a theory, in anyway. Its completely and totally 'unprovable', much more so than any science. At least sciences can be shown to work, and be used in repeated experiments to work. Religious methods can't do that.


mattison
Doesn't anyone in this forum get their information from anywhere other than talkorigins?

Its a well respected, efficient, and well organized clearinghouse of information. What is wrong with that? Rather than jump around a number of different places, there is this one, that has lots of information consistently addressed. What trees are found in strata of established different ages?

I did NOT definitively state it was a fake

Ok fair enough.

Interestingly enough Nygdan, what position are you in to judge to credibility of any particular scientist?

I am certainly capable of determining for myself whether or not someone is credible or not. THe only analysis I have ever seen that concluded archaeopteryx was a fake was pure garbage. If you have seen one that is not then I would appreciate seeing it.

Why would Ostrom agree with this?

John Ostrom studied some of the specimins of archaeopteryx directly, and has studied numerous other specimins of other 'dino-birds'. He's not an idiot, and he would tend to notice if the multiple specimins were all frauds.

Let's talk specifics if you've got some

I rather like caudipteryx, microraptor, sinornithosaurus, heck most maniraptors or really any of the feathered dinosaurs as supportive of transitions between 'dinosaur' and 'bird'. From 'primitive ape' to 'modern man' I rather like the standard set given, things like australpithecus and the like. Icthyostega and the pandericthes and various other 'fish with feet' make interesting transitional fossils between 'fish' and 'tetrapods'. But, really, what exactly are we talking about here? 'Transitionals' are forms between species. Therefore, most fossil species will serve as that, in fact, most species will serve for that.But if one is talking about 'transitions between kinds', well, then I'd like to see some decent operative definitions of kinds.

Sankar Chatterjee

Protoavis is generally considered to be a questionable specimin. Even chatterjee doesn't seem to be pushing it any more. To say the least, no one is really doing anything with it. Eitherway, the issue of triassic birds is entirely possible, and it may even be quite probably that they were around. However, having bird fossils that are older than archaeopteryx does not mean that archaeopteryx and the other specimins are irrelevant. Infact, its generally understood that the more bird like dinosaurs are found in strata younger than established birds. What would be happening here is one of two things. Either birds aren;t related to dinosaurs, and these dinosaurs just happened to converge on the 'bird' type. However, this is unlikely. Whats more likely is that these birds are simply not being found, that there is a preservational bias in the record. And, indeed, archaeopteryx and the other dino-birds are mostly found in low engery lacustrine environments where deposition was very gentle and in very fine particles. This is an unusual deposition environment (not 'rare' but certainly not something one can hope to find for every epoch on multiple continents). Also, the 'early birds', so to speak, that are found are often marine birds, and, if] this is a 'bird wide' phenomenon, then that too would add to a preservational bias. Now, since birds and dinosaurs share so many synapomorphies, and these characters appear in the way that they do, then one can make the 'safe' conclusion that they are indeed related, and, given that relation, their lineages must extend deeper in time in the geologic record. Similarly, the 'advanced bird like dinosaurs', because of the older exixstence of their various sister groups, must also have 'ghost lineages' that extend further in time. And, indeed, the variety of jurassic and cretaceous dinosaurian fauna indicates that there has been a lot of diversification in these groups in the past, and the discovery of older and more primitive 'types' seems to be lending support to this idea.


I can cite references[on radiometric issues] if need be, but would prefer not too. Call me on it if you need to.

As you know this is a subject that interests me and i would be interested in some of those references

The Delta for the Colorado is insignificant based on the carving out of the GC.

I just don't see why the current delta should be proportionately large to the volume of material removed in ancient times. THe miss delta is of course massive and muddy, but the miss is removing massive amounts of mud. THe colorado isn't doing that now, and wasn't necessarily removing it all at once in the past. Why does it have to have an extremely large 'paleo-delta' if the rate of sedimentation wasn't necessarily large? Now, of course, I have no idea what the 'outflux' from the colorado was during the period in which the canyon was formed, but I am not so certain that it require massive erosion in a short time.

it matters because the 'faint-young sun' theory is at odds with not only current dogma regarding star and planet formation, but evolutionary dogma as well

How? The sun should have been faint, or else the earth might've froze. But any one of a few things could control that. There are allways apparent paradoxes and problems and seemingly strange phenomena. Sometimes they do lead to an overturing of generally accepted ideas, but this paradox doesn't affect evolution, it doesn't undo the evidence for evolution. Is this part of the 'snowball earth' idea by the way?

Based on the experimentally observed half-life of DNA, how can we explain this.

Spores, however, are supposed to live extremely long times. I think pollen of great age has been resurrected, so to speak too no? Do you know of any studies on decay rates of dna in bacterial spores? I would think that the conditions in them and the conditions in humans must be different, and that these differences could, in fact should, dramatically affect the longevity of the biomolecules in each no?


There is obviously evidence of adaptation in organisms, but there exists spotty, inconsistent, and often highly speculative evidence in support of macro evolution

See, this really interests me, because usually this micro/macro issue ias, well, something of a non issue. However since you've had formal training in biology, i should think you have a different perspective on the matter. Now, usually, the response is that there isn't a discinction between macro and micro. For an appropriate analogy, consider gould and eldridges punctuated equilibrium hypothesis. Gould as least has said that its in part an extension of Ernst Mayr's 'allopatric speciation model' to geological time, that the periods of stasis and punctuation are result of having species form in isolated out lying groups of small size (and thus, not being preseved in the fossil record, until the grow to great size and have a range extension). The mechanics are the same, ie the allopatric model of isloation, differentiation, and later expansion. But the appearance is quite different, because of this application of 'deep geologic time'. One the small scale, one has finches with differently sized beaks on different islands. On the geologic scale, one has a normal beaked population for an extended period of time, followed by a 'rapid' appearance of say large beaked forms. So for evolution, the mechanics of micro and macro are the same, selection and adaptation. There's no 'kind boundary' limiting adapatation and variation. So on the small scale, the population genetics scale, one has shifting alleles. On the paleontological scale, one has these 'massive' changes of types and even entire faunas. So I don't understand where the disconnect is between 'macro' and 'micro' evolution that allows some sort of halt to adaptation.

or frickin' talkorigins.com to spoonfeed it to you

Why is this site and newsgroup a bit of a problem to you? Honestly, its a group of non-professionals and some professionals who discuss things on this subject, and the website is an archive that some of the posters have put together, containing posts, feedback, and various articles that they have written. Its not spoon feeding anyong. The arguements that creationism v. evolution involves are very wide ranging. In a single discussion a person can go from arguing the energetics of a global 'vapour canopy' to putting a SJ Gould quote back in context to considering the genetics of the pre and post fall world. The 'sea' is wide and deep in those kind of discussions, and the existence of the archives as a clearinghouse of information, relevant links and references is something thats good for everyone. I'm just curious, because you certainly have a bad reaction to it. Had you ever posted to the newsgroup (not the archive)? I think most of your ideas would be received quite well there. I doubt very many would agree with you, and there certainly are some howlers in that group of people, but there are several posters who are there to have an intelligent discussion.

[edit on 11-11-2004 by Nygdan]



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 06:25 PM
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Also, religion, as religion, shouldn't be taught in any public schools, even as an elective.


With this attitude, do we wonder why there are so many ignorant people on the face of this earth with no idea what the other 90% of the world believe? Do you live in the USA by any chance?
I would have thought that learning what other people believe, would be a great asset when dealing and communicating with these people? Unless you live a really sheltered life, I am sure you have mixed with people outside the evolution train of thought.

What I hear you saying is: My theories of evolution are proved to beyond such a shadow of a doubt, that screw what the 95% believe, we can only teach this!! Hmmm sounds like communism to me.



If a student wants to learn more about a religion, then they can do it on their own time, not suck up tax dollars and staff to do it.


And a religiously intolerant war isn’t sucking up the tax dollars?




What value does learning calculus give to students who aren't going to use it? For that matter, what good does anything that is taught in public schools give students?


Your right. Nothing, unless that student has a desire to learn it. This is called freedom or will. Some students drop out of school at year 10 because they do not like to learn. Others continue through to university. For instance, I was useless at maths at school but good at arts. Lucky for me I could choose to do art, English and other subjects that interested me over the subjects I had no interest in at all. So do emphasise your point, I have no idea what calculus is! and I have never had the chance to use it. Am I a worse person for know knowing this?




Evolutionary Algorithms allow more powerful computer programs to be designed and 'better' products to be developed. An understanding of evolution allows people to understand and coutneract why anti-biotics and the like become less usefull over time. Heck, it is thought to even allow one to make comparative medecinal studies of disease causing organisms and find better ways to combat them.


You seem to be arguing my point very well. Students who wish to study science at a tertiary level, should have the option of taking evolution. They obviously have an interest in this field.




The majority of the people on the planet don't think about very much of anything at all.


Yes, cant agree more. They would not be using their brain matter if they were not given the opportunity to think about other theories outside of what you personally believe.




What scientific information, heck what information given to people in schools is used every day in the first place?


Um, let me think. Possibly, English, writing, maths, sport.. do I have to really name every one?



Why is evolution being singled out?


Because that is what we are talking about




Gosh, could it be because it makes certain religionists uncomfortable?


I think that lack of freedom of thought would make anyone uncomfortable




Problem is, religion is not a theory, in anyway. Its completely and totally 'unprovable', much more so than any science.


Say that to one of the millions of people that say they have had answers to prayer. Oh, but you still wouldn’t believe it as you cant put them in a test tube right?


As mattison has repeatedly pointed out, what is so wrong with being open minded. I find that people that are not miss the forest because of the trees.

Just my opinion.



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 06:46 PM
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Mattison, a few questions for you if I may. I gather you neither believe in creation nor evolution. Is there a theory you have to advance? Do you believe that advancing both the theories of evolution and creation within any level of the education system is not beneficial to the students? And finally, Since you no longer believe in evolution, you must believe that science has come to a dead end with that research, therefore do you think that scienctists are wasting time, energy, effort and money on pursuing the theory of evolution, and should abandon same? If so, is there another direction?

[edit on 11/11/04 by SomewhereinBetween]



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 07:47 PM
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Originally posted by shmick25
With this attitude, do we wonder why there are so many ignorant people on the face of this earth

Probably because so many people are fighting against proper science educations in schools and even having non-religious secular schools.


with no idea what the other 90% of the world believe?

I am aware of what other religions beleive and what different streams of thought within those different religions beleive. Public school is not a place where religion should be taught. Period. Its public school. I haven't received anything more than a superficial and vague public school instruction on 'world religions', and even then its not taught as religion, but as different cultures and in the context of what in some places is called 'global studies'. Religion, specifically and only as religion, is not something that should be taught, studied, and tested on in public schools.

I am sure you have mixed with people outside the evolution train of thought.

Actually the overwhelming majority of anti-evolutionists I have come across have been immoral, repugnant, raving liars.

What I hear you saying is: My theories of evolution are proved to beyond such a shadow of a doubt, that screw what the 95% believe, we can only teach this!! Hmmm sounds like communism to me.

I don't care what anyone beleives. This isn't play school. I don't have to consider what other people beleive without reason to be equally valid to what I've studied and what I know. I don't care if 99% of the planetbeleives evolution doesn't occur, I want to see the reasons for why it isn't supposed to occur. Do you just leave all of your conlusions to a super-majority? Do you only operate by consensus?

And a religiously intolerant war isn’t sucking up the tax dollars?

Irrelevant to the discussion. Because you disagree with the war, therefore religion should be taught in schools?

I have no idea what calculus is! and I have never had the chance to use it. Am I a worse person for know knowing this?

I'd say so yes. I'm god awful at calculus and other types of math, but its an entire way of thinking and analyzing things that is worth knowing.


Students who wish to study science at a tertiary level, should have the option of taking evolution. They obviously have an interest in this field.

Well thats not how its done in the US. In the US, every each student in a school gets the same education. No one gets huddled off into an 'automechanics' group and a trash collectors group and doctors and lawyers group. Students are given the oppurtunity to learn, not be trained for a job. And, again, if anyone think that their kid shouldn't have to learn nothin', they can homeschool them, put them in parochial school, or put them into a sperate vocational school. But as long as their a regular student, they get the whole education.




They would not be using their brain matter if they were not given the opportunity to think about other theories outside of what you personally believe.

And without the an understanding of the world and the way that it works, they won't be able to think very much about it. If all they know is how to file a particular set of papers properly, or how to fill out a credit card application, well they certainly aren't going to be able to weight independent sets of evidence for different natural phenomena that constantly affect their lives and make up their very existence.




Um, let me think. Possibly, English, writing, maths, sport.. do I have to really name every one?

So you think that after a person can more or less talk, can do enough math to count and maybe add, and can scrawl out something with a pencil, then they've had enough education? You mentioned english. Fair enough. However, one doesn't learn to speak english at school. English classes, outside of short lessons on grammar and vocabulary, focus on works of literature and creative writing and the like. So none of that is necessary for the average joe working down at the shop. Heck, even that grammar and vocabulary isn't particularly important, since he probably hasn't used any of it outside of the tests he had in school on it.And math? When was the last time anyone sat down and did long division or converted between decimals and fractions as a part of their day to day routine? 'I'd like .5 and .5 in my coffee please' Heck, why should the government teach math at all, just give everyone in teh country a calculator, maybe one that can display in fractions if one wants to be stodgy, that'd be a lot more effiicient no? SInce you are saying that people only need to lear enough to be able to perform their work related tasks efficiently.

Because that is what we are talking about

Ah, so normally you do call for all those other things to be eliminated from school curricula then? Just not in this thread right?


I think that lack of freedom of thought would make anyone uncomfortable

And yet, you want religious instruction in schools, and think entire branches of science shouldn't be taught, because they aren't 'useful' to everyone.

Say that to one of the millions of people that say they have had answers to prayer.

Normally I just nod and smile when I run into one of those people.

Oh, but you still wouldn’t believe it as you cant put them in a test tube right?

Of course I wouldn't belevie them. There have been studies on the so called power of prayer. It doesn't work. Sometimes people pray and they say their prayers are answered. And yet, they're all praying to different gods, heck opposing gods. Are you actually contending that all these gods exist and they are answering everyone's prayers and competeing with each other, ala 'clash of the titans'?

what is so wrong with being open minded. I find that people that are not miss the forest because of the trees.

Excuse me, but I have not been close minded at any point in this particualr discussion nor on the entire topic of creationism at any time. I have been completely open minded and I have listened to pro and con arguements on all sides of this multifaceted issue. I find it entirely ironic that someone who is calling the the elimnation of evolution from school curicula and other 'useless' branches of science while at the same time thinking the secular schools should have religious instruction courses is calling anyone else close minded. How is this mass of religiously educated early sorted dockyard workers going to be able to asses the veritable mountains of information on just this one issue, let alone the hundreds of thousands of other science policy issues that control their lives and world, if they've spend a few semesters learning various hindu and northwest native american god's names, but don't know what a cell is or what affect greenhouse gases have on their local environment?



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 08:18 PM
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Also, religion, as religion, shouldn't be taught in any public schools, even as an elective.




I find it entirely ironic that someone who is calling the the elimnation of evolution from school curicula and other 'useless' branches of science while at the same time thinking the secular schools should have religious instruction courses is calling anyone else close minded.


Please quote where I have stated that I want evolution totally removed from schools? I thought I was arguing that I wanted to make it an elective.



Actually the overwhelming majority of anti-evolutionists I have come across have been immoral, repugnant, raving liars.


Do they also misquote posts?

Thanks for you comments, it has been fun!
Guess we should stick to the tread.



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 09:23 PM
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Ahhhh Nygdan…. You certainly are tenacious; I’ve got to give you credit for that. Your efforts are commendable, even if, IMO, they are a little misguided. Imagine how much you could learn if you instead of simply trying to prove me wrong, which based on my initial statements won’t be done, you actually were to review all available sources and make as truly objective opinion as possible. Is it that you are trying to prove me wrong? Do you believe that I am unaware of the majority of these things you’re mentioning, and you’re trying to educate me? I’m not trying to be sarcastic or rude; I am genuinely curious about your motives. Don’t indulge me if you don’t want though.

So… let’s get into it.



Doesn't anyone in this forum get their information from anywhere other than talkorigins?


Its a well respected, efficient, and well organized clearinghouse of information. What is wrong with that? Rather than jump around a number of different places, there is this one, that has lots of information consistently addressed.

Well, if you’ve been reading my posts, which it appears you have, you’d have seen the statement I made about looking at PRIMARY sources for yourself. Evaluate each claim individually for yourself, which you claim you are perfectly capable of doing, and make an informed decision WITHOUT the handicap of someone else’s ‘filter.’



What trees are found in strata of established different ages?

Trees at Joggins fossil cliffs, for example.



Interestingly enough Nygdan, what position are you in to judge to credibility of any particular scientist?


I am certainly capable of determining for myself whether or not someone is credible or not.

I will rephrase this particular question: Nygdan, perhaps you can list your particular set of experiences analyzing scientific data, evaluating scientific data, critically examining scientific data, or writing scientific reports on any level above that of a 200 level college course. Perhaps, you will also inform us as to the nature of your personal scientific research and what methods you personally have personally have any hands-on familiarity with. In what fields were these particular experiences undertaken?


Why would Ostrom agree with this?


John Ostrom studied some of the specimins of archaeopteryx directly, and has studied numerous other specimins of other 'dino-birds'.

I know who Ostrom is. My point was more in the big picture: What possible motivation would someone whose research funds depend on a particular hypothesis have for refuting said hypothesis.


He's not an idiot

Never said he was. At the very worst, I called him biased; and I did that just now.


I rather like caudipteryx, microraptor, sinornithosaurus

Perhaps you should consider some quotes from one of your fellow evolutionists, Dodson, who stated: “I hasten to add that none of the known small theropods, including Deinonychus, Dromaeosaurus, Velociraptor, Unenlagia, nor Sinosauropteryx, Protarcheaeopteryx, nor Caudipteryx is itself relevant to the origin of birds…”( Dodson, P., Origin of birds: the final solution? American Zoologist 40:505–506, 2000.)
“I am tepid on endothermic dinosaurs; I am skeptical about the theropod ancestry of birds.”( Dodson, P., Mesozoic feathers and fluff, American Paleontologist 9(1):7, 2001).

Or how about this: “I continue to find it problematic that the most birdlike maniraptoran theropods are found 25 to 75 million years after the origin of birds … . Ghost lineages are frankly a contrived solution, a deus ex machina required by the cladistic method. Of course, it is admitted that late Cretaceous maniraptorans are not the actual ancestors of birds, only “sister taxa”. Are we being asked to believe that a group of highly derived, rapidly evolving maniraptorans in the Jurassic gave rise to birds, as manifested by Archaeopteryx, and then this highly progressive lineage then went into a state of evolutionary stasis and persisted unchanged in essential characters for millions of years? Or are actual ancestors far more basal in morphology and harder to classify? If the latter, then why insist that the problem is now solved?” Please see: Dodson, P., Response by Peter Dodson, American Paleontologist 9(4):13–14, 2001.

Ruben, a respiratory physiology expert at Oregon State University, analyzd fossil outlines of Sinosauropteryx’s internal organs. His research indicates their bellowslike lungs could not have evolved into the high-performance lungs seen in observed in modern birds (Lung Fossils Suggest Dinos Breathed in Cold Blood, Science 278(5341):1229–1230, and in the same issue, see: Lung Ventilation in Theropod Dinosaurs and Early Birds, pp. 1267–1270)

As a futher general reference some research incdicates that birds lack the embryonic thumb that dinosaurs had, suggesting that it is “almost impossible” for the species to be closely related (Ann C. Burke and Alan Feduccia, Developmental Patterns and the Identification of Homologies in the Avian Hand, Science 278(5338):666–8, 24 October 1997, with a perspective by Richard Hinchliffe, The Forward March of the Bird-Dinosaurs Halted? on pp. 596–7).


I rather like the standard set given, things like australpithecus

This is not surprising. Perhaps you are unaware of the computer studies of australopithecines that have demonstrated that their bodily proportions were not intermediate between man and living apes. For example: Charles E. Oxnard, “The Place of the Australopithecines in Human Evolution: Grounds for Doubt?” Nature, Vol. 258, 4 December 1975, pp. 389–395. and “Human Fossils: New Views of Old Bones,” The American Biology Teacher, Vol. 41, May 1979, p. 273.

Perhaps you are unaware of evidence discovered by R.E.F. Leakey, in which he clearly stated: “The Rudolf Australopithecines, in fact, may have been close to the ‘knuckle-walker’ condition, not unlike the extant African apes.” Please see: Richard E. F. Leakey, “Further Evidence of Lower Pleistocene Hominids from East Rudolf, North Kenya,” Nature, Vol. 231, 28 May 1971, p. 245.

Perhaps you are unaware of another study involving their inner ear bones, which are used to maintain balance, showed a striking similarity with those of chimpanzees and gorillas, but significant differences with those of humans. Likewise, their pattern of dental development corresponds to chimpanzees, not humans. Please see: Bruce Bower, “Evolution’s Youth Movement,” Science News, Vol. 159, 2 June 2001, p. 347.

Perhaps you’re familiar with ‘Lucy.’ ‘Lucy was presented as evidence that all australopithecines walked upright in a human manner. This being based on a single knee joint. However, studies of Lucy’s entire anatomy, not just a knee joint, now show this is very unlikely (Fred Spoor et al., “Implications of Early Hominid Labyrinthine Morphology for Evolution of Human Bipedal Locomotion,” Nature, Vol. 369, 23 June 1994, pp. 645–648), and suggest in fact that ‘Lucy’ most likely swung from trees (Lucy’s Limbs: Skeletal Allometry and Locomotion in Australopithecus Afarensis,” Nature, Vol. 297, 24 June 1982, pp. 676–678, Jack T. Stern Jr. and Randall L. Susman, “The Locomotor Anatomy of Australopithecus Afarensis,” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 60, March 1983, pp. 279–317, and Jeremy Cherfas, “Trees Have Made Man Upright,” New Scientist, Vol. 93, 20 January 1983, pp. 172–178.


Icthyostega
Evolutionist Carroll doesn’t find any particular difficulty with Icthyostega and in a major vertebrate palaeontology text described Ichthyostega as a fairly typical land animal (Carroll, R.L., Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution, W.H. Freeman and Company, New York, p. 164, 1988)

pandericthes and various other 'fish with feet' make interesting transitional fossils between 'fish' and 'tetrapods'
Some researchers feel that the fossil record imposes difficult constraints on the timing of the supposed transition. The earliest tetrapod fossils are found in late Frasnian sediments, but their presumed ancestors are hardly much older. To exacerbate the situation, the Frasnian ‘near tetrapods’ (Obruchevichthys, Elginerpeton, Livoniana) are already morphologically diverse at their first appearance. “Panderichthys and Elpistostege flourished in the early Frasnian and are some of the nearest relatives of tetrapods. But tetrapods appear only about 5 to 10 million years later in the late Frasnian, by which time they were widely distributed and had evolved into several groups, including the lineage leading to the tetrapods of the Famennian. This suggests that the transition from fish to tetrapod occurred rapidly within this restricted time span.”(Clack, J.A., Gaining Ground: The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2002). More problems: Key morphological transitions, such as the purported change from paired fins to limbs with digits, remain undocumented by fossils. Appendages that are known they are clearly either fish-like fins or digit-bearing limbs, not at some transitional stage from one to the other.

I think my point is further demonstrated here. There is lots of information out there, tons and tons and tons to sort through. While many have claimed evolution to be a ‘scientific fact’ clearly there are numerous exceptions and dissenting opinions. I suppose it comes down to what is the ‘definition’ of a fact. In my mind, a theory with data that stands in such stark opposition to other available is hardly a ‘fact.’ This is not to say that the theory of evolution is without value. Surely, scientific progress has been made based on this theory, and this alone makes it valuable. However to close your mind, and pretend we’ve got it all figured out when it’s quite clear we don’t is certainly doing nothing to advance scientific progress.



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 09:52 PM
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Originally posted by SomewhereinBetween
Mattison, a few questions for you if I may. I gather you neither believe in creation nor evolution. Is there a theory you have to advance? Do you believe that advancing both the theories of evolution and creation within any level of the education system is not beneficial to the students? And finally, Since you no longer believe in evolution, you must believe that science has come to a dead end with that research, therefore do you think that scienctists are wasting time, energy, effort and money on pursuing the theory of evolution, and should abandon same? If so, is there another direction?

Somewhere... thanks for your highly thoughtful questions. I do not subscribe to many of the currently accepted dogma's with respect to evolution. To put my scientific integrity on the line in defense of Genesis would be 'intellectual suicide.' However I do recognize the fact that my understanding of religious doctrine in general is limited... I would say probably less than average, and this may influence my apparent inability to reconcile science and religion. However, as I stated in my response to Nygdan, certainly proven facets of evolution do exist, certainly things that argue against creationist notions. For example creationists are fond of claiming that mutations are never beneficial. This is complete rubbish. I can think of numerous examples off the top of my head demonstrating beneficial mutations without even doing a literature search or looking at a single reference. Whether or not that's evidence of macroevolution is debatable, but certainly valuable information has yet to be obtained from evolution based study. Much of the info I've cited is from scientists considered to be evolutionists. Obviously there is still worthwhile science happening in this field still.

Do I have a theory... I wish. Not much of a theorhetical scientist. I am much better at compiling and sorting through massive amounts of data and information and deciding how it fits in with the big picture. Unfortunately, it often leaves me suffering from extreme information overload, and as you've forced me to admit, lacking for a rational explanation of things.

I definitely do not believe evolution is a dead end. Information is information, the more of it there is the better. I am not biased for or against most sources, as long as the science appears sound, the techniques make sense in the context of the experiment being performed, and the conclusions seem reasonable.

Good science is never a waste of time or money, irrespective of the intentions, and there are ALWAYS other directions worthy of pursuit.

Thanks for your interest.



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 10:42 PM
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Originally posted by mattison0922

Originally posted by Aeon10101110
Uranium-lead isotopic analyses of zircon crystals have long been used as the most reliable method of determining the crystallization ages of felsic igneous rocks...

Aeon, with respect to Zircon, while I do believe that there are unresolved issues with radioisotope dating techiniques, the point of the zircon argument was based more on the rates of diffusion of He from zircon crystals. My point was there is evidence contained in Zircon crystals in the form of undiffused He, suggesting that these crystals may not be as old as initially postulated.


Measuring helium content in zircons and apatite represent a recently developed dating technique. Apparently, there are problems with samples from surface formations that produce thermochronometric ages younger than the rock's actual exhumation age. Recently, articles in both
Geotimes and Geology detail the anomaly, which can affect rocks containg apatite to a whopping depth of 3 centimeters (if they are exposed to temperatures exceeding 70 degrees celsius). But zircons are more resilient, the temperature must be raised to 180 degrees for helium to be lost. However, thermochronometry is developed to the extent that there is consistency with helium dating considering uranium-thorium (U/Th) ratios, in that established events are reflected when comparing U/Th to zircon helium content.

Helium is one of the daughter products when uranium decays, thorium is another. Thus, U/Th more reliably dates rock because neither of the metals is subject to loss as the miniscule helium atom. And it is the U/Th methodology that was referred to in my post!

Many times I've read opposing viewpoints which merely dismiss some dating techniques ,without proper attribution, citing a few anomalous data very briefly. Never is the methodology discussed with any details at all, such as sample location, credentials or institutions. Such dubious citations amount to anecdotal evidence and are designed only to posit biblical veracity.

An interesting use of the radiocarbon technique (more precisely, Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) was recently employed with the Dead Sea Scrolls for confirmation of paleographic dates and ages of other objects on site such as coins. A total of eight scrolls that were not contaminated by oils were subjected to the analysis and the resulting data were found to be consistent with all other indications, overwhelmingly within +/- 50 years. Moreover, some scrolls were actually dated by their respective scribes and as mentioned, the Carbon 14 dates were in agreement with this very significant corollary (Davies, P., Brooke, G., Callaway, P., 2002, "The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls," Thames & Hudson, Ltd., London, pp. 12, 13, 70, 74-75, 181, 207).



posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 11:52 PM
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Measuring helium content in zircons and apatite represent a recently developed dating technique. Apparently, there are problems with samples from surface formations that produce thermochronometric ages younger than the rock's actual exhumation age. Recently, articles in both
Geotimes and Geology detail the anomaly, which can affect rocks containg apatite to a whopping depth of 3 centimeters (if they are exposed to temperatures exceeding 70 degrees celsius). But zircons are more resilient, the temperature must be raised to 180 degrees for helium to be lost.

Aeon, I was under the impression that the diffusion of He through zircons was mostly a function of the crystal lattice. While obviously temperature plays a role in any diffusion process, I thought the point was that since the crystal lattice is big enough to accomodate a large atom, such as uranium, the diffusion of He, through the crystal lattice was relatively unimpeded, and thus could be used as reliable dating mechanism. Please advise.

I am unfamiliar with the website you referred to regarding radioisotope dating. It seems though that you have some degree of familiarity with isotope dating based on your previous posts. Does it not make sense that radiocarbon dating of something as recent as the dead sea scrolls might coincide with other verifiable evidence. These are relatively recent documents. Given that 14C has a half-life of more than 5000 years, this is more than within a reasonable time frame. Furthermore, there may be adequate tree ring evidence with which to 'calibrate' said radiodating method. However, I will not back down from the verifiable controversy that does exist surrounding these techniques.



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 12:00 AM
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I would like to make one additional point on this thread re: information. I think I read this here, I can't say what the original source was, but this reflects my ignorance regarding much philosophical and spiritual literature.

The analogy is something like this: It takes an organized collection of bricks to build a house. Well, facts are like these bricks. It takes an organized collection of facts to make a coherent story. And while a house is made from organized stacks of bricks, an organized stack of bricks doesn't make a house. Similarly a series of organized facts does not necessarily make a coherent story. You can have multiple organizations of bricks that are logical and represent some organization, but if those bricks don't interact with, or 'dovetail' into the other exsiting brick structures you don't have a house. And while many of the facts of evolution represent 'organized and coherent brick piles' they definitely do not combine to form a livable house. Until we uncover the missing bricks and plans to link the organized piles, we don't have a house.

Perhaps someone could point me to the original source of that quote, as I am sure it was much more eloquently stated than mine.

Thanks in advance.



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 09:00 AM
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Originally posted by shmick25
Please quote where I have stated that I want evolution totally removed from schools? I thought I was arguing that I wanted to make it an elective.

Making it an elective for 'smart kids' to take is effectively removing it. Shop is an elective, but not every takes it. 'Home Economics' is an elective, but people don't take it unless they are looking for an east A or something like that. There is absolutely no reason to start making core courses electives merely because you think people ain't got no need for them.



Actually the overwhelming majority of anti-evolutionists I have come across have been immoral, repugnant, raving liars.


Do they also misquote posts?
If i have misquoted you it hasn't been intentional. Perhaps I got a little bit hyperbolic with my assesment of your position. But you were saying thta its not necessary and that it shouldn't be part of the normal curriculum.



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by mattison0922
Ahhhh Nygdan…. You certainly are tenacious; I’ve got to give you credit for that. Your efforts are commendable, even if, IMO, they are a little misguided. Imagine how much you could learn if you instead of simply trying to prove me wrong, which based on my initial statements won’t be done, you actually were to review all available sources and make as truly objective opinion as possible. Is it that you are trying to prove me wrong?

Actually that is exactly what I try to do. I am not trying to convince you or anyone else of any particular postion. The sum of the evidence I have seen and the assesments I have been able to make of them lead me to conclude that, amoung other things, evolution does indeed occur. I am not trying to back up one 'side' to an argument or another.


Do you believe that I am unaware of the majority of these things you’re mentioning, and you’re trying to educate me?

Of course not. I know your background. Thats why in particular I want to explore the reasons why you have come to the conclusions you have. As you have said you are not a creationist, you merely notice that there are 'anomolous phenomenon' and such, and that people often accept conclusions that they haven't really thought out. Darwin himself had the initial ideas for his theory of natural selection years before he published them. He thought them through in detail, he considered alternate lines of evidence, and correpsonded with numerous other naturalists. That, I think, is the proper way to go about these things. Consider all possibilities and all arguements before arriving at a definite conclusion.


looking at PRIMARY sources for yourself. Evaluate each claim individually for yourself, which you claim you are perfectly capable of doing, and make an informed decision WITHOUT the handicap of someone else’s ‘filter.’

Yes but, admitedly, talkorigins provides an excellent introduction to the material, especially for 'laymen', and does close its papers with full listings of sources and references that a person can check on their own. On this issue, I think we are in complete agreeance, the primary sources is whats important. I don't think TO makes itself out to be a thing that can replace those sources or supersede them.


What trees are found in strata of established different ages?

Trees at Joggins fossil cliffs, for example.
See, this is a perfect example. I could go out and try to find
"Dawson, J.W., 1868. Acadian Geology. The Geological Structure, Organic Remains, and Mineral Resources of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, 2nd edition. MacMillan and Co.: London, 694pp."

But I doubt I would be very successful. My local library might be able to get a latter printing through and Interlibrary loan, but, why bother? At TO, Dawson's examination of these 'polystrat' trunks is quoted nicely, and the ultimate conclusion is that these trees, with their roots intact in the very soil they grew in, have simply been buried in place. The thick material in which they are now fossilized is not made up of strata seperated by millions of years, but merely one or two events. A true 'polystrate' fossil would by something similiar, but found to cross the boundaries of entire geological epochs. This would mean that the conventional interpretation for those epochs is wrong, and, furthermore, that the methods used might be entirely wrong. Now, perhaps there is something that TO is leaving out, perhaps there is, say, conventional geolgical information that indicates these trees actually are polystrate, that is, cross multiple strata. But Dawson doesn't seem to make mention of it. Also, the Joggins trees, and other fossilized trees, the remains of reptiles are found in them, indicating rapid in place burial.




Interestingly enough Nygdan, what position are you in to judge to credibility of any particular scientist?


I am certainly capable of determining for myself whether or not someone is credible or not.

I will rephrase this particular question: Nygdan, perhaps you can list your particular set of experiences analyzing scientific data, evaluating scientific data, critically examining scientific data, or writing scientific reports on any level above that of a 200 level college course. Perhaps, you will also inform us as to the nature of your personal scientific research and what methods you personally have personally have any hands-on familiarity with. In what fields were these particular experiences undertaken?
Ah i see. Fair enough. I have a BS in Biology and another one in Geology. I'm a member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and until this year was a member of the Geological Society of America and the Society of American Naturalists. However, I haven't had any formal post university training or conducted any formal primary research with specimins and what not. I see nothing that indicates an inability to be able to asses the claims of a scientific paper, and, irregardless of my qaulifications, the numerous other people who have worked with the 7 or so archaeopteryx specimens are infinitely more qaulified than me to judge the validity of them. Overwhelmingly they support the non fraud nature of it, and, again, the one or two papers I have seen on it being a fraud were claiming that the feather impressions were at an 'implausible' angle and that they had also been formed by taking regular feathers and making impressions with them onto the fossil. These claims are pretty weak, and they don't have anything to support them. Are you saying that archaeopteryx is a fraud then? Or are you saying that a person can only make that assesment by examining the specimen directly?


Why would Ostrom agree with this?


John Ostrom studied some of the specimins of archaeopteryx directly, and has studied numerous other specimins of other 'dino-birds'.

I know who Ostrom is. My point was more in the big picture: What possible motivation would someone whose research funds depend on a particular hypothesis have for refuting said hypothesis.
Unfortunately the same could be said for the one researcher who was making the fraudulent claim. Also, there have been more people studying archaeopteryx than just john ostrom, and nothing in his work indicates that he is a fraud anyway. If anything, if archaeopteryx was a fraud, there would be a motivation to reveal that fraud.



I rather like caudipteryx, microraptor, sinornithosaurus

Perhaps you should consider some quotes from one of your fellow evolutionists, Dodson, who stated: “I hasten to add that none of the known small theropods, including Deinonychus, Dromaeosaurus, Velociraptor, Unenlagia, nor Sinosauropteryx, Protarcheaeopteryx, nor Caudipteryx is itself relevant to the origin of birds…”( Dodson, P., Origin of birds: the final solution? American Zoologist 40:505–506, 2000.)
“I am tepid on endothermic dinosaurs; I am skeptical about the theropod ancestry of birds.”( Dodson, P., Mesozoic feathers and fluff, American Paleontologist 9(1):7, 2001).
Dodson's skepticism notwithstanding, most other theropod workers do understand that these specimins are infact revelant. The cladistic analyses indicate that birds and theropods share a large number of synapomorphies, far to many to be mere coincidence. I don't think most would state that they are on the direct line to birds, but they are certainly supportive of the theropod ancestry of birds. Also, dodson certainly wouldn't state that these items are indicative of a non-occurance of evolution. Even fedduccia, martin, and chaterjee, who at least were the main opponents of the 'birds are dinosaurs' idea, were still saying that birds evolved from even more different organisms.


Or how about this: “I continue to find it problematic that the most birdlike maniraptoran theropods are found 25 to 75 million years after the origin of birds … . Ghost lineages are frankly a contrived solution, a deus ex machina required by the cladistic method.

And yet, logically, they must exist.


Of course, it is admitted that late Cretaceous maniraptorans are not the actual ancestors of birds, only “sister taxa”.

Well, yes. Its not so much 'admited' like its a problem, its simply when the fossils are preserved.


Are we being asked to believe that a group of highly derived, rapidly evolving maniraptorans in the Jurassic gave rise to birds, as manifested by Archaeopteryx, and then this highly progressive lineage then went into a state of evolutionary stasis and persisted unchanged in essential characters for millions of years?


Why shouldn't it? The 'stem group', especially early on in dinosaurian histroy, would have the oppurtunity to undergo a rapid adaptive radiation, what with the elimination of dinosuarian competition. They were obviously experimenting with all sorts of different forms. Why should sucessful forms like dromeaosaurs and such change? They appear to have been perfectly adapated to their niche as smaller hunting dinosaurs, and wouldn't've been ableto to encroach on the 'dino-bird' niche that was occupied by their closelty related taxons.



Or are actual ancestors far more basal in morphology and harder to classify? If the latter, then why insist that the problem is now solved?” Please see: Dodson, P., Response by Peter Dodson, American Paleontologist 9(4):13–14, 2001.

I'd have to say that the problem of bird origins is solved, certainly in broad strokes. The only two candidates are theropods or 'basal archosaurs'. All the evidence found so far indicates that birds are closely related to theropods, more closely related to them than any of the basal archosaurs. I don't think dodson these days is promoting any sort of 'basal archosaur' origin for birds. True, some of the details are left out. Just when birds evolved from dinosaurs hasn't been worked out, and the relationships of some of the theropod groups haven't been worked out, or even the timing of the origins of feathers hasn't been found out yet. But the shared derived characters between birds and dinosaurs exist in no other groups, and no other groups are even likely candidates for the 'ancestral' group of birds.


Ruben, a respiratory physiology expert at Oregon State University, analyzd fossil outlines of Sinosauropteryx’s internal organs. His research indicates their bellowslike lungs could not have evolved into the high-performance lungs seen in observed in modern birds (Lung Fossils Suggest Dinos Breathed in Cold Blood, Science 278(5341):1229–1230, and in the same issue, see: Lung Ventilation in Theropod Dinosaurs and Early Birds, pp. 1267–1270)

At the SVP meeting in denver, there were a few papers on the existence of avian like air sacks in dinosaurs. Not merely the usual pneumatization of the backbones that is seen in many different types of dinosaurs, but the actual presence of diverticula within the coelom, a possible precursor of the unidirectional avian lung system. Also, as far as the endo/ecto thermic issue, dinosaurs were almost certainly possesive of a rapid, non reptillian metabolism. Whenever bone histology is studied, it almost allways indicates rapid growth and highly vascularized 'mammal like' tissues, not permanently slow growing relatively avascular reptillian tissues. Dinosaurian growth rates, and of course, this is a rather large and diverse group, tend to overlap the mammalian and bird ranges and seem to have more in common with them. The idea of ecto/endo thermic is probably not relevant to these organisms. It makes sense when comparing foxes to lizards, but in the grande scope of evolutionary diversity, there is just to much variation for these forms to be 'pigeon holed' into one static grouping or another. Also, a recent study of tyrannosaurian coprolites has shown that muscle tissues were preserved, undigested, in the faeces. This indicates that the digestive system is rapid, not the slow system seen in say crocodiles that have only a few meals and digest them completely.


Ann C. Burke and Alan Feduccia, Developmental Patterns and the Identification of Homologies in the Avian Hand, Science 278(5338):666–8, 24 October 1997, with a perspective by Richard Hinchliffe, The Forward March of the Bird-Dinosaurs Halted? on pp. 596–7).

Ah, this, of course, was the best evidence against dinosaurian origins for birds, the non homology of the digits. However, even this has been seen, in seperate studies, to not be quite the problem it once was. I think it was G. Wagner who provided evidence of a 'frame shift' in avian ontogeny, one that results in the pattern now seen, and there was a study that just came out recently that also addressed this issue. I don't have access to the references at the moment, I'll get some of them soon (not for a few days perhaps, but they are very interesting, I think you will find them intriguing)



I rather like the standard set given, things like australpithecus

This is not surprising. Perhaps you are unaware of the computer studies of australopithecines that have demonstrated that their bodily proportions were not intermediate between man and living apes. For example: Charles E. Oxnard, “The Place of the Australopithecines in Human Evolution: Grounds for Doubt?” Nature, Vol. 258, 4 December 1975, pp. 389–395. and “Human Fossils: New Views of Old Bones,” The American Biology Teacher, Vol. 41, May 1979, p. 273.
I was unaware of this reference, I'll have to check it out. However, even if body proportions are not intermediate, the specimin as a whole clearly is intermeadiate.

Perhaps you are unaware of evidence discovered by R.E.F. Leakey, in which he clearly stated: “The Rudolf Australopithecines, in fact, may have been close to the ‘knuckle-walker’ condition, not unlike the extant African apes.” Please see: Richard E. F. Leakey, “Further Evidence of Lower Pleistocene Hominids from East Rudolf, North Kenya,” Nature, Vol. 231, 28 May 1971, p. 245.
I think anyone would be hard pressed to beleive that the Leakey's think australpithecines aren't intermediates between man and 'lower' apes

Perhaps you are unaware of another study involving their inner ear bones, which are used to maintain balance, showed a striking similarity with those of chimpanzees and gorillas, but significant differences with those of humans.
Humans have a gait that is different than all of those groups tho, so why shouldn't their inner ears be arranged differently?


Likewise, their pattern of dental development corresponds to chimpanzees, not humans. Please see: Bruce Bower, “Evolution’s Youth Movement,” Science News, Vol. 159, 2 June 2001, p. 347.

Not seeing how this is destructive to the hypothesis, of course, that might be a different story if I read the paper eh?

Perhaps you’re familiar with ‘Lucy.’ ‘Lucy was presented as evidence that all australopithecines walked upright in a human manner. This being based on a single knee joint. However, studies of Lucy’s entire anatomy, not just a knee joint, now show this is very unlikely (Fred Spoor et al., “Implications of Early Hominid Labyrinthine Morphology for Evolution of Human Bipedal Locomotion,” Nature, Vol. 369, 23 June 1994, pp. 645–648), and suggest in fact that ‘Lucy’ most likely swung from trees (Lucy’s Limbs: Skeletal Allometry and Locomotion in Australopithecus Afarensis,” Nature, Vol. 297, 24 June 1982, pp. 676–678, Jack T. Stern Jr. and Randall L. Susman, “The Locomotor Anatomy of Australopithecus Afarensis,” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 60, March 1983, pp. 279–317, and Jeremy Cherfas, “Trees Have Made Man Upright,” New Scientist, Vol. 93, 20 January 1983, pp. 172–178.


Icthyostega
Evolutionist Carroll doesn’t find any particular difficulty with Icthyostega and in a major vertebrate palaeontology text described Ichthyostega as a fairly typical land animal (Carroll, R.L., Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution, W.H. Freeman and Company, New York, p. 164, 1988)
Again, Robert Carroll also doesn't have a problem with evolution above the species level either.

This is not a transitional fossil? This is not an organism with fish like and amphibian like features?


But tetrapods appear only about 5 to 10 million years later in the late Frasnian, by which time they were widely distributed and had evolved into several groups, including the lineage leading to the tetrapods of the Famennian. This suggests that the transition from fish to tetrapod occurred rapidly within this restricted time span.”(Clack, J.A., Gaining Ground: The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2002).

Ah, I had been considering purchasing that text on a few occasions. Looks like its interesting. Why is it considered implausible that these very tetrapod like forms can evolve into actual tetrapods over 5 to 10 million years? Without any other land animals to compete with, they should be spreading over a wide range very quickly.


More problems: Key morphological transitions, such as the purported change from paired fins to limbs with digits, remain undocumented by fossils.
And yet, the transition from ray like fins to lobe like fins to primtive limbs that can't work out of water and then to limbs that can support the organism.
this page also has some information on these kinds of animals

The oldest known stegocephalians, such as Ichthyostega and Acanthostega, possess intermediate conditions for some of these characters and lack others. For instance, Ichthyostega retained a subopercular, a bone that was part of the opercular complex that covered the gill chamber of osteolepiforms. Acanthostega retained an anocleithrum, which is one of the elements that linked the shoulder girdle to the skull in osteolepiforms (Coates and Clack, 1991). The notochord of Ichthyostega and Acanthostega extended deeply into the braincase, and most of its caudal vertebrae lacked zygapophyses (Jarvik, 1952). The connection between the sacral rib and the pelvic girdle of Acanthostega was still poorly defined. Finally, both Ichthyostega and Acanthostega retain lepidotrichia in the tail, indicating that these taxa still had a caudal fin.

also here is an interesting essay on this specimin also.


Appendages that are known they are clearly either fish-like fins or digit-bearing limbs, not at some transitional stage from one to the other.

the below illustration, well, illustrates some of the devolopment of a standard tetrapod limb compared to a lungfish

These are limbs that have bony structures along with fish ray like structures. Also, acanthostega has limbs that can lift the creature in the water, but are not mobile enough for walking around. Also, this page deals with panderichthys, with limbs that are very much transitional between fish and tetrapods. Note also that the front 'limbs' are attached to the skull, which is another fish like feature.

I think my point is further demonstrated here. There is lots of information out there, tons and tons and tons to sort through. While many have claimed evolution to be a ‘scientific fact’ clearly there are numerous exceptions and dissenting opinions.
None of these, however, have been dissenting opinions on the existence of 'macroevolution' itself. Fedduccia and the 'bird are not dinsoaurs' group think that they evolved from a different group of reptiles. And even if the australpithecines have chimp like teeth, they are still well on their way to transiting to human like forms, not to mention homo erectus and the other transional 'ape-men'. They aren't merely chimps. Their brain cases are increasing, their limbs are being modified, their vertebrae are changing their articulations with their heads.


I suppose it comes down to what is the ‘definition’ of a fact. In my mind, a theory with data that stands in such stark opposition to other available is hardly a ‘fact.’

Again, none of these dissenting opinions have been in oppostion to evolution as a fact. organisms change thru time. There is nothign that prevents them from crossing the imaginary 'kind' barrier. The differences between humans and chimps are in some ways slight. Increased brain size, erect stance, more mobile fingers. They'd all fall under the term 'microevolution' if microevolution is 'below kinds'. Even the bird to dinosaur transition almost starts to fall 'below the level of kinds' of animals and into the 'microevolutionary' change level. Dinosaurs have limbs modified in similar ways to birds, they have a bidpedal stance, pneumatized bones, possible air sacks in the coelom, feathers, reduced tails, fused vertebrae. Birds differ mainly in having more reduced hands, more reduced tails, more fused vertebrae, more developed beaks and the loss of some cranial bones. These aren't large insurmountable differences. What we're seeing is that as more fossils are comming out of the group that the morphological gaps between kinds of animals are shrinking, shrinking in such a way that the differences are becomming matters of increasing one trend or reducing one set of elements. If 'macroevolution' wasn't occuring, then one wouldn't be finding these organisms with characters of two different groups. And while not every type of transitional that probably had to have occured has been found, and, undoubtedly, not every kind has even been preserved, that hardly means that these ones that do exist aren't telling everyone anything.


This is not to say that the theory of evolution is without value. Surely, scientific progress has been made based on this theory, and this alone makes it valuable. However to close your mind, and pretend we’ve got it all figured out when it’s quite clear we don’t is certainly doing nothing to advance scientific progress.
I agree that everything is not known. However, the evolution obviously occurs. There are transitional fossils. Not every fossil that one would like to have is there, but there are organisms that can't be neatly fit into one kind of creature or another. The existence of feathered birdlike dinosaurs and fish like limbed animals attests to this. The existence of very ape like organisms walking around the african savana, showing increasing brain capacities over time and more and more human like stances and gaits and technology shows that man did indeed evolve from more primitive organisms. And the overall structure of the fossil record also shows that organisms have been segregated into seperate fauna in time. One doesn't find Dinsoaurs in permian beds. One doesn't find chimps and dinosuars co-existing. Far back enough in the record one doesn't find land animals, and even further back one doesn't find complex animals at all. Clearly evolution is occuring, and whats know about population genetics and how animals change today indicates that there is nothing to prevent this 'macroevoltuionary barrier' from being crosssed. Again, I'd agree that its uniformed and arrogant to say that every group is understood in unquestionable detail, but the occurance of evolution itself? Its as solidly supported as any scienfitic theory.





posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 09:53 PM
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Great information Nygdan!!! Your postings are excellent examples.


Originally posted by mattison0922
Aeon, I was under the impression that the diffusion of He through zircons was mostly a function of the crystal lattice. While obviously temperature plays a role in any diffusion process, I thought the point was that since the crystal lattice is big enough to accomodate a large atom, such as uranium, the diffusion of He, through the crystal lattice was relatively unimpeded, and thus could be used as reliable dating mechanism. Please advise.

[deletia]

...These are relatively recent documents. Given that 14C has a half-life of more than 5000 years, this is more than within a reasonable time frame. Furthermore, there may be adequate tree ring evidence with which to 'calibrate' said radiodating method. However, I will not back down from the verifiable controversy that does exist surrounding these techniques.


As to the first query, the point of the article is that helium diffusion is accelerated due to elevated temperatures, such that the method results in dates that are too young for the sample that was heated.

And yes, radiocarbon techniques are well-established, duplicated and verified by independent means. As with any scientific method, there is not 100% veracity but certainly probabilities more than favor conclusions. But because there are always factors of uncertainty (consider Heisenberg) such as the possibility of unknown cross-contaminants. When such contamination is known or suspected, as with the scrolls, dating methods are not employed, else the results rejected. However to reiterate, the various methodologies utilizing isotopic carbon are not only very well-tested, some are recalibrated as knowledge grows.



posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 11:51 PM
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Litigation regarding the placement of a sticker on high school biology textbooks in reference to the the theoretical nature of evolutionary science is being heard in a Georgia court. Interestingly, a compendium of scientists from the state agree with the caveat emplaced by the school board. But the PhD's certainly are not promoting any fundamentalist agenda. As published today in Law.Com, the scientists were signatories to a "friend of the court" brief.



They say in their brief that there is growing skepticism that evolution as first elucidated by Charles Darwin in his "On the Origin of the Species" can "account for the complexity of life we see today."


But even they include a caveat:



The brief acknowledges that this view represents "a minority position within the scientific community." However, it suggests that when debates such as the one over evolution "are raging, students need to know about them," and school boards "should be able to take reasonable steps to ensure that students are fully informed." In that light, the brief's signatories found Cobb's disclaimer to be "entirely reasonable."


Previously, in September 2002, Carlos S. Moreno and 120 other Emory University faculty members signed a petition in support of the suit against the school. Additionally, a letter accompanied the petition:



The letter also argued, "To put evolutionary theory onto the same level as faith-based creationism and 'intelligent design' would disregard mountains of evidence carefully gathered by thousands of scientists over the past 160 years. ... All biological evidence supports the concept of descent from an original common ancestor, and all of biology makes sense only in the framework of evolutionary theory. To suggest to middle- and high-school students that there is any type of debate within the scientific community on the validity of evolution would be completely untrue and a disservice to those children."


Of course, the source of the material is considered:



One of the authors of the Cobb textbook, Kenneth R. Miller, a cell biologist at Brown University, said in testimony Monday that the sticker was far from "reasonable." He called it "very weird. ... The only place I see warnings is cigarette packs." Miller took the witness stand to defend his textbook. He conceded that evolutionary theory doesn't explain everything about the origin of life, but he added, "There are elements of the Battle of Gettysburg we can't explain. Does that mean it didn't take place? Of course not."


So... evolution is a theory, along with how many others? Based upon the assertion that inexplicable phenomena somehow invalidates a theory, you are not able to see this text, because the electron theory is not completely explained, either. But new discoveries advance science constantly, and theories are revised or discarded. Most certainly, any theory as first elucidated is rarely complete. Concordantly, non-Darwinian evolutionary biology is developed, and is posited by researchers at the University of Illinois for cellular evolution in the Archean Age. Of course, the controversy continues, to be expected during meme succession.



posted on Nov, 13 2004 @ 06:29 PM
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Nygdan, Great Post! Thanks for your thoughtful response. Nice pretty pics!


Do you believe that I am unaware of the majority of these things you’re mentioning, and you’re trying to educate me?


Of course not. I know your background. Thats why in particular I want to explore the reasons why you have come to the conclusions you have. As you have said you are not a creationist, you merely notice that there are 'anomolous phenomenon' and such, and that people often accept conclusions that they haven't really thought out. Darwin himself had the initial ideas for his theory of natural selection years before he published them. He thought them through in detail, he considered alternate lines of evidence, and correpsonded with numerous other naturalists. That, I think, is the proper way to go about these things. Consider all possibilities and all arguements before arriving at a definite conclusion.
Well, at least we can seem to agree at least in ‘spirit’ regarding some issues. However, we’ve really barely touched on much of the available data that stands in opposition to evolutionary theories, most of which are not in my particular area of expertise. My difficulties with evolutionary theory began with my own area of expertise, and now via discussions with my colleagues in other disciplines of science has been further expanded to include these ‘hobby areas.’ Despite your claims to the contrary, I still feel you are out to prove that the theory is correct. I don’t understand why people are so opposed my saying it’s not a fact. Let’s discuss the meaning of fact: NOUN:
1. Knowledge or information based on real occurrences: an account based on fact; a blur of fact and fancy.
2.
a. Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed: Genetic engineering is now a fact. That Chaucer was a real person is an undisputed fact.
b. A real occurrence; an event: had to prove the facts of the case.
c. Something believed to be true or real: a document laced with mistaken facts.
3. A thing that has been done, especially a crime: an accessory before the fact.
4. Law The aspect of a case at law comprising events determined by evidence: The jury made a finding of fact.
. There are very few principles of macroevolution that are actually based on real occurrences. As this thread has clearly demonstrated there are series of observations that we’ve attempted to explain with the evolution postulate, however we’ve not observed ‘real occurrences’ that would ‘prove’ evolution as a fact. What we have are a collection of facts, which in some contexts make sense, and in other contexts do not. My initial postulate still stands: genuine ‘evidence’ published in real scientific journal stands in stark opposition to a fact. Obviously, if evolution were a ‘fact’ this thread would not have gone into multiple pages, with anticipation of much area left to be covered, or uncovered. Certain aspects may be facts: Microorganisms ‘evolve’ antibiotic resistance, mutations are occasionally beneficial, fossils that appear to be transitions do exist. I will again assert that a collection of factual information organized in coherent manner does NOT make a true story or even a story for that matter. Anyone whose ever looked at that the stock pages can tell you that.


looking at PRIMARY sources for yourself. Evaluate each claim individually for yourself, which you claim you are perfectly capable of doing, and make an informed decision WITHOUT the handicap of someone else’s ‘filter.’


Yes but, admitedly, talkorigins provides an excellent introduction to the material, especially for 'laymen', and does close its papers with full listings of sources and references that a person can check on their own. On this issue, I think we are in complete agreeance, the primary sources is whats important. I don't think TO makes itself out to be a thing that can replace those sources or supersede them.

Again, at least we can agree in principle regarding the importance of primary references.
However, I see very little evidence of that type of research going on here in the ATS forum. IMO, it appears that many members in the threads that I follow would maintain their original set of beliefs, and stop at nothing to uphold them, citing only those sources that are in favor of their preferred theory.


What trees are found in strata of established different ages?


Trees at Joggins fossil cliffs, for example.


See, this is a perfect example. I could go out and try to find
"Dawson, J.W., 1868. Acadian Geology. The Geological Structure, Organic Remains, and Mineral Resources of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, 2nd edition. MacMillan and Co.: London, 694pp."
But I doubt I would be very successful. My local library might be able to get a latter printing through and Interlibrary loan, but, why bother?
At TO, Dawson's examination of these 'polystrat' trunks is quoted nicely, and the ultimate conclusion is that these trees, with their roots intact in the very soil they grew in, have simply been buried in place. The thick material in which they are now fossilized is not made up of strata seperated by millions of years, but merely one or two events. A true 'polystrate' fossil would by something similiar, but found to cross the boundaries of entire geological epochs. This would mean that the conventional interpretation for those epochs is wrong, and, furthermore, that the methods used might be entirely wrong. Now, perhaps there is something that TO is leaving out, perhaps there is, say, conventional geolgical information that indicates these trees actually are polystrate, that is, cross multiple strata. But Dawson doesn't seem to make mention of it]. bold and italics added by mattison0922


Please see my above rebuttal regarding primary references. It would seem that some of the areas I’ve bolded would argue against your statements alleging to understand the importance of reading primary refs. TO might be leaving something out, but you’ll probably never know.

Fortunately for me, I happen to work in an academic environment with an awesome library, I have many colleagues from many different disciplines who have references of their own that I can investigate, and I think it’s worth it to track down primary information.



Also, the Joggins trees, and other fossilized trees, the remains of reptiles are found in them, indicating rapid in place burial.

I will further point out the irony that I feel exists in this statement in light of the original title of this thread. As Aeon pointed out this rapid in place burial could have happened via large scale flooding events.


Interestingly enough Nygdan, what position are you in to judge to credibility of any particular scientist?


I am certainly capable of determining for myself whether or not someone is credible or not.


I will rephrase this particular question: Nygdan, perhaps you can list your particular set of experiences analyzing scientific data, evaluating scientific data, critically examining scientific data, or writing scientific reports on any level above that of a 200 level college course. Perhaps, you will also inform us as to the nature of your personal scientific research and what methods you personally have personally have any hands-on familiarity with. In what fields were these particular experiences undertaken?


Ah i see. Fair enough. I have a BS in Biology and another one in Geology. I'm a member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and until this year was a member of the Geological Society of America and the Society of American Naturalists. However, I haven't had any formal post university training or conducted any formal primary research with specimins and what not.

Nygdan, my commendations on your educational background, it’s a great synergistic combination for someone with your particular set of beliefs.



I see nothing that indicates an inability to be able to asses the claims of a scientific paper,
It depends on the paper. I have no particular set of qualifications that permit me to understand geology papers, certainly not my biochemistry/molecular bio background. I compensate for that by being in academic community where I can walk two buildings away and have some explain procedures to me. I can further evaluate the merit of the study with a discussion of the methods and conclusions with someone who does know. It is only in the face of overwhelming information and resources that I have reached the conclusions I have.



the numerous other people who have worked with the 7 or so archaeopteryx specimens are infinitely more qaulified than me to judge the validity of them.

Agreed.



Overwhelmingly they support the non fraud nature of it, and, again, the one or two papers I have seen on it being a fraud were claiming that the feather impressions were at an 'implausible' angle and that they had also been formed by taking regular feathers and making impressions with them onto the fossil. These claims are pretty weak, and they don't have anything to support them. Are you saying that archaeopteryx is a fraud then? Or are you saying that a person can only make that assesment by examining the specimen directly?
I didn’t say either of those things. The considerable evidence I mentioned regarding the fraudulent nature of the evidence was concerning an x-ray resonance spectrograph of the British Museum fossil. This data showed that the finer-grained material containing the feather impressions differed significantly from the rest of the coarser-grained fossil slab. The chemistry of this “amorphous paste” also differed from the crystalline rock in the fossil quarry in Bavaria, Germany, where Archaeopteryx supposedly was found. (N. Wickramasinghe and F. Hoyle, “Archaeopteryx, the Primordial Bird?” Nature, Vol. 324, 18/25 December 1986, p. 622.) You will find this particular study allegedly ‘debunked’ in talkorigins. I can’t remember if it was in talkorigins or not, one of the major ‘debunkings’ of this evidence “contends that the amorphous nature of the feathered material is an artifact explainable by preservatives that they have put on the fossil.” This is a great example of bad science. This researcher completely ignored the control samples: no preservatives found on the control specimen? Control specimens are utilized for the purpose of eliminating these possibilities. Interestingly enough, the British Museum has refused further testing. I think the other refutation is even more absurd.

If we must continue to demonstrate the inconclusive nature of archaeopteryx, I suppose we must. Let’s discuss the furcula , or wishbone of Archaeopteryx. The wishbone is a unique feature of birds. Interestingly enough, to my knowledge only the British Museum specimen has a visible furcula. This furcula, strange among birds, being upside down, and the largest of any known bird, a point acknowledged by both Huxley and deBeer. Larry D. Martin, “The Relationship of Archaeopteryx to other Birds,” The Beginnings of Birds: Proceedings of the International Archaeopteryx Conference of 1984 (Eichstätt, Germany: Jura Museum, 1985), p. 182.

Perhaps you are interested in the comments of Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, who stated that:

“It was somewhat unwise for the forgers to endow Compsognathus with a furcula, because a cavity had to be cut in the counterslab, with at least some semblance to providing a fit to the added bone. This would have to be done crudely with a chisel, which could not produce a degree of smoothness in cutting the rock similar to a true sedimentation cavity.( (Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, Archaeopteryx, the Primordial Bird: A Case of Fossil Forgery, p. 93.)

Is it a forgery or transition? Some researchers think it’s nothing more than a bird:

I will again refer to Feduccia who states that “Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it’s not. It is a bird, a perching bird. And no amount of “paleobabble” is going to change that.”
(Feduccia, A.; cited in V. Morell, ‘Archaeopteryx: Early Bird Catches a Can of Worms’, Science 259(5096):764–65, 5 February, 1993.

Furthermore the skeletons had pneumatized vertebrae and pelvis. This is indicative of the presence of both a cervical and abdominal air sac, i.e. at least two of the five sacs present in modern birds. This in turn indicates that the unique avian lung design was already present in what most evolutionists claim is the earliest bird.(Christiansen, P. and Bonde, N., Axial and appendicular pneumaticity in Archaeopteryx, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B. 267:2501–2505, 2000.)

Also, analysis of the skull with computer tomography (CT) scanning shows that Archaeopteryx had a brain like a modern bird’s, three times the size of that of a dinosaur of equivalent size (although smaller than that of living birds). Archaeopteryx even had large optic lobes to process the visual input needed for flying. Furthermore, even the inner ear had a cochlea length and semicircular canal propoprtions were in the range of a modern flying bird’s. This implies that Archaeopteryx could hear in a similar way, and also had the sense of balance required for coordinating flight. ( Alonso, P.D., Milner, A.C., Ketcham, R.A., Cokson, M.J and Rowe, T.B., The avian nature of the brain and inner ear of Archaeopteryx, Nature 430(7000):666–669, 5 August 2004; Witmer, L.M, Inside the oldest bird brain, perspective, same issue, pp. 619–620.)

What is the convincing explanation for how to fossilize (actually encase) a bird in the 80% pure, Solnhofen limestone. A major difficulty with this is the low density of bird carcasses coupled with the fact that limestone is primarily precipitated from sea water, presents a difficulty in that the animal must lie on the seafloor, which is unusual for a dead bird.

Perhaps you are interested in some quotes from scientist more qualified than you or I to judge archaeopteryx and transitional forms in general. We can start with Darwin and move along

“But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them imbedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?”

“... the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed [must] truly be enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory [of evolution].” Darwin, The Origin of Species, p. 323.

Darwin believed these gaps existed because of the “imperfection of the geologic record.” It was expected the gaps would be filled as fossil exploration continued. Has it? Read on:

“Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information—what appeared to be a nice simple progression when relatively few data were available now appears to be much more complex and much less gradualistic. So Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated in the last 120 years and we still have a record which does show change but one that can hardly be looked upon as the most reasonable consequence of natural selection. David M. Raup, “Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology,” Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, Vol. 50, No. 1, January 1979, p. 25. FYI, the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago has one of the largest collections of fossils in the world. Dr. David Raup, it former Dean, is more qualified than you or I summarize the situation regarding transitions that should be observed in the fossil record.

How about this one: “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, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. ... 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.” Stephen Jay Gould, “Evolution’s Erratic Pace,” Natural History, Vol. 5, May 1977, p. 14.

How about some more inconsistencies in the fossil record concerning plants: If evolution happened, nonvascular plants should have preceded vascular plants. However, fossils of nonvascular plants are not found in strata evolutionists believe were deposited before the earliest vascular plants appeared.

The bryophytes [nonvascular plants] are presumed to have evolved before the appearance and stabilization of vascular tissue—that is, before the appearance of these tracheophytes [vascular plants]—although there is no early bryophyte [nonvascular plant] fossil record. (Lynn Margulis and Karlene V. Schwartz, “Five Kingdoms: An illustrated guide to the Phyla of life on Earth, p. 250.)

How about this one: “The absence of any known series of such intermediates imposes severe restrictions on morphologists interested in the ancestral source of angiosperms [flowering plants] and leads to speculation and interpretation of homologies and relationships on the basis of the most meager circumstantial evidence.” Charles B. Beck, Origin and Early Evolution of Angiosperms (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976), p. 5.

Enough? How about one more: “... to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of special creation. If, however, another explanation could be found for this hierarchy of classification, it would be the knell [the death signal] of the theory of evolution. Can you imagine how an orchid, a duckweed, and a palm have come from the same ancestry, and have we any evidence for this assumption? The evolutionist must be prepared with an answer, but I think that most would break down before an inquisition. Textbooks hoodwink.” E. J. H. Corner, “Evolution,” Contemporary Botanical Thought, editors Anna M. MacLeod and L. S. Cobley (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1961), p. 97.

Transitional fossils and evolution a fact… Hardly.


Why would Ostrom agree with this?


John Ostrom studied some of the specimins of archaeopteryx directly, and has studied numerous other specimins of other 'dino-birds'.

I know who Ostrom is. My point was more in the big picture: What possible motivation would someone whose research funds depend on a particular hypothesis have for refuting said hypothesis.


Unfortunately the same could be said for the one researcher who was making the fraudulent claim.
. Agreed

Also, there have been more people studying archaeopteryx than just john ostrom, and nothing in his work indicates that he is a fraud anyway. If anything, if archaeopteryx was a fraud, there would be a motivation to reveal that fraud.
This is a huge assumption. What would be the motivation, who would be motivated? Apparently, in some circles there is motivation, but places like say The British Museum have impeded this kind of research. Why?


I rather like caudipteryx, microraptor, sinornithosaurus

Perhaps you should consider some quotes from one of your fellow evolutionists, Dodson, who stated: “I hasten to add that none of the known small theropods, including Deinonychus, Dromaeosaurus, Velociraptor, Unenlagia, nor Sinosauropteryx, Protarcheaeopteryx, nor Caudipteryx is itself relevant to the origin of birds…”( Dodson, P., Origin of birds: the final solution? American Zoologist 40:505–506, 2000.)
“I am tepid on endothermic dinosaurs; I am skeptical about the theropod ancestry of birds.”( Dodson, P., Mesozoic feathers and fluff, American Paleontologist 9(1):7, 2001).


Dodson's skepticism notwithstanding, most other theropod workers do understand that these specimins are infact revelant. The cladistic analyses indicate that birds and theropods share a large number of synapomorphies, far to many to be mere coincidence. I don't think most would state that they are on the direct line to birds, but they are certainly supportive of the theropod ancestry of birds.

Operative phrase “supportive of.” This is distinctly different than “factual evidence of”


Also, dodson certainly wouldn't state that these items are indicative of a non-occurance of evolution. Even fedduccia, martin, and chaterjee, who at least were the main opponents of the 'birds are dinosaurs' idea, were still saying that birds evolved from even more different organisms.

This was not implicit in my statement. All evidence provided thus far is offered in support against the argument that evolution is a scientific fact.


Or how about this: “I continue to find it problematic that the most birdlike maniraptoran theropods are found 25 to 75 million years after the origin of birds … . Ghost lineages are frankly a contrived solution, a deus ex machina required by the cladistic method.


And yet, logically, they must exist.

And yet, there ceases to be ANY evidence. So it may only appear logical in the current context of the understandings of some. In reality, it’s speculation.


Of course, it is admitted that late Cretaceous maniraptorans are not the actual ancestors of birds, only “sister taxa”.

Well, yes. Its not so much 'admited' like its a problem, its simply when the fossils are preserved.


Are we being asked to believe that a group of highly derived, rapidly evolving maniraptorans in the Jurassic gave rise to birds, as manifested by Archaeopteryx, and then this highly progressive lineage then went into a state of evolutionary stasis and persisted unchanged in essential characters for millions of years?



Why shouldn't it? The 'stem group', especially early on in dinosaurian histroy, would have the oppurtunity to undergo a rapid adaptive radiation, what with the elimination of dinosuarian competition. They were obviously experimenting with all sorts of different forms. Why should sucessful forms like dromeaosaurs and such change? They appear to have been perfectly adapated to their niche as smaller hunting dinosaurs, and wouldn't've been ableto to encroach on the 'dino-bird' niche that was occupied by their closelty related taxons.

Please see above information re: inconsistencies and speculation, particularly with respect to the fossil record.



Or are actual ancestors far more basal in morphology and harder to classify? If the latter, then why insist that the problem is now solved?” Please see: Dodson, P., Response by Peter Dodson, American Paleontologist 9(4):13–14, 2001.


I'd have to say that the problem of bird origins is solved, certainly in broad strokes. The only two candidates are theropods or 'basal archosaurs'. All the evidence found so far indicates that birds are closely related to theropods, more closely related to them than any of the basal archosaurs. I don't think dodson these days is promoting any sort of 'basal archosaur' origin for birds. True, some of the details are left out. Just when birds evolved from dinosaurs hasn't been worked out, and the relationships of some of the theropod groups haven't been worked out, or even the timing of the origins of feathers hasn't been found out yet. But the shared derived characters between birds and dinosaurs exist in no other groups, and no other groups are even likely candidates for the 'ancestral' group of birds.

Oh I see, “you’d have to say.” With all due respect to your education, how are you more qualified than scientists who’ve been working in the field for years and actually handled specimens and actually published peer reviewed articles to make this judgement?


Ruben, a respiratory physiology expert at Oregon State University, analyzd fossil outlines of Sinosauropteryx’s internal organs. His research indicates their bellowslike lungs could not have evolved into the high-performance lungs seen in observed in modern birds (Lung Fossils Suggest Dinos Breathed in Cold Blood, Science 278(5341):1229–1230, and in the same issue, see: Lung Ventilation in Theropod Dinosaurs and Early Birds, pp. 1267–1270)


At the SVP meeting in denver, there were a few papers on the existence of avian like air sacks in dinosaurs. Not merely the usual pneumatization of the backbones that is seen in many different types of dinosaurs, but the actual presence of diverticula within the coelom, a possible precursor of the unidirectional avian lung system. Also, as far as the endo/ecto thermic issue, dinosaurs were almost certainly possesive of a rapid, non reptillian metabolism. Whenever bone histology is studied, it almost allways indicates rapid growth and highly vascularized 'mammal like' tissues, not permanently slow growing relatively avascular reptillian tissues. Dinosaurian growth rates, and of course, this is a rather large and diverse group, tend to overlap the mammalian and bird ranges and seem to have more in common with them. The idea of ecto/endo thermic is probably not relevant to these organisms. It makes sense when comparing foxes to lizards, but in the grande scope of evolutionary diversity, there is just to much variation for these forms to be 'pigeon holed' into one static grouping or another. Also, a recent study of tyrannosaurian coprolites has shown that muscle tissues were preserved, undigested, in the faeces. This indicates that the digestive system is rapid, not the slow system seen in say crocodiles that have only a few meals and digest them completely.

Interesting. I was unaware of this. Please provide refs. as I’d like to investigate.


Ann C. Burke and Alan Feduccia, Developmental Patterns and the Identification of Homologies in the Avian Hand, Science 278(5338):666–8, 24 October 1997, with a perspective by Richard Hinchliffe, The Forward March of the Bird-Dinosaurs Halted? on pp. 596–7).


Ah, this, of course, was the best evidence against dinosaurian origins for birds, the non homology of the digits. However, even this has been seen, in seperate studies, to not be quite the problem it once was. I think it was G. Wagner who provided evidence of a 'frame shift' in avian ontogeny, one that results in the pattern now seen, and there was a study that just came out recently that also addressed this issue. I don't have access to the references at the moment, I'll get some of them soon (not for a few days perhaps, but they are very interesting, I think you will find them intriguing)

I would appreciate that.



I rather like the standard set given, things like australpithecus


This is not surprising. Perhaps you are unaware of the computer studies of australopithecines that have demonstrated that their bodily proportions were not intermediate between man and living apes. For example: Charles E. Oxnard, “The Place of the Australopithecines in Human Evolution: Grounds for Doubt?” Nature, Vol. 258, 4 December 1975, pp. 389–395. and “Human Fossils: New Views of Old Bones,” The American Biology Teacher, Vol. 41, May 1979, p. 273.



I was unaware of this reference, I'll have to check it out. However, even if body proportions are not intermediate, the specimin as a whole clearly is intermeadiate.
Clear to who, clear to you? Not clear to every scientists in the field.


Perhaps you are unaware of evidence discovered by R.E.F. Leakey, in which he clearly stated: “The Rudolf Australopithecines, in fact, may have been close to the ‘knuckle-walker’ condition, not unlike the extant African apes.” Please see: Richard E. F. Leakey, “Further Evidence of Lower Pleistocene Hominids from East Rudolf, North Kenya,” Nature, Vol. 231, 28 May 1971, p. 245.


I think anyone would be hard pressed to beleive that the Leakey's think australpithecines aren't intermediates between man and 'lower' apes.

Didn’t say that. I am merely suggesting that while it is suggested that these bone fragments are from a prehistoric human, there is considerable evidence to suggest it was not much different than a chimp.


Perhaps you are unaware of another study involving their inner ear bones, which are used to maintain balance, showed a striking similarity with those of chimpanzees and gorillas, but significant differences with those of humans.


Humans have a gait that is different than all of those groups tho, so why shouldn't their inner ears be arranged differently?

I’m sorry, perhaps you could elaborate on said similarities between ‘Lucies’ and humans.


Likewise, their pattern of dental development corresponds to chimpanzees, not humans. Please see: Bruce Bower, “Evolution’s Youth Movement,” Science News, Vol. 159, 2 June 2001, p. 347.


Not seeing how this is destructive to the hypothesis, of course, that might be a different story if I read the paper eh?

Further evidence suggesting that human like similarities between humans and Lucies are superficial. The animals are distinctly chimp like. Even if they are like humans, how is this ‘evidence of common ancestry?’ I am sure that you are aware of ‘convergent evolution’ as Aeon felt it necessary to point out to me.



Icthyostega
Evolutionist Carroll doesn’t find any particular difficulty with Icthyostega and in a major vertebrate palaeontology text described Ichthyostega as a fairly typical land animal (Carroll, R.L., Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution, W.H. Freeman and Company, New York, p. 164, 1988)


Again, Robert Carroll also doesn't have a problem with evolution above the species level either.
That was not the issue. I am merely drawing attention the highly controversial and speculative nature of the ‘evidence’ for evolution as a ‘fact.’


This is not a transitional fossil?

Nice Pics! Maybe, depends on whose perspective you’re more inclined to agree with. Looks like an amphibious creature to me. How does this ‘prove’ evolution.


This is not an organism with fish like and amphibian like features?

As I said, it looks like an amphibian to me. Fish-like and amphibian-like features do not equal transitional fossil.


But tetrapods appear only about 5 to 10 million years later in the late Frasnian, by which time they were widely distributed and had evolved into several groups, including the lineage leading to the tetrapods of the Famennian. This suggests that the transition from fish to tetrapod occurred rapidly within this restricted time span.”(Clack, J.A., Gaining Ground: The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2002).


Ah, I had been considering purchasing that text on a few occasions. Looks like its interesting. Why is it considered implausible that these very tetrapod like forms can evolve into actual tetrapods over 5 to 10 million years? Without any other land animals to compete with, they should be spreading over a wide range very quickly.

Based on observable evidence, such as the rate of natural, unrepaired mutation in an organisms DNA for example.


More problems: Key morphological transitions, such as the purported change from paired fins to limbs with digits, remain undocumented by fossils.


And yet, the transition from ray like fins to lobe like fins to primtive limbs that can't work out of water and then to limbs that can support the organism.

I repeat the operative phrase “Key morphological transitions… remain undocumented by fossils.” If and when they are found, it’ll be a step closer to ‘fact,’ but nonetheless distinctly not a ‘fact.’



None of these, however, have been dissenting opinions on the existence of 'macroevolution' itself. Fedduccia and the 'bird are not dinsoaurs' group think that they evolved from a different group of reptiles.

This is not the point. The point is that there is considerable dissention, even amongst those in the field as to the veracity of many claims surrounding fossil evidence.


And even if the australpithecines have chimp like teeth, they are still well on their way to transiting to human like forms,

How so considering their gait, their teeth, and other evidence mentioned, what specifically is ‘well on the way to transitioning?


not to mention homo erectus and the other transional 'ape-men'.

Perhaps you’re interested in the comments of Brown, an Australian evolutionary paleoanthropologist re: Homo Erectus: “Nearly every introductory and advanced text written on human evolution in the last four decades lists thickened cranial-vault bone as one of the features distinguishing Homo erectus from H. sapiens and other hominids. However, data has rarely been presented in support of this statement and it remains unclear whether the distinction that is being drawn is relative, absolute, or restricted to a specific part of the neurocranium. Before concluding that relatively thickened vault walls are an autopomorphic trait of H. erectus [references], it would seem reasonable to examine the vault thickness characteristics of a range of hominid and hominoid primates.” (Brown, P., cranial-vault thickness in Asian Homo erectus and Homo sapiens, in: Franzen, J.L., ed., 100 Years of Pithecanthropus: The Homo Erectus Problem, Courier Forschungs Institut Senckenberg 171, pp. 33–45, 1994.) Brown contrasted the cranial-vault dimensions of four modern Homo sapiens populations amongst themselves, and against samples of Asian Homo erectus and Chinese archaic Homo sapiens. The four Homo sapiens populations evaluated were modern south Chinese, Romano-British, aboriginal Australians (both living and recently-dead), and the remains of Australian aborigines that had lived, according to the conventional time-scale, from about 10,000 to 30,000 years ago. The lattermost samples included the famous Kow Swamp remains, which had already been known for some time to possess considerable similarities to Homo erectus. The measured means of cranial-vault thickness of the modern and recently dead Europeans, and Homo erectus, were found to be significantly different at five of the seven anatomical points mentioned above. The same held for modern south Chinese when compared with Homo erectus. Only the prebregmatic eminence and occipital torus were comparable between Homo erectus and, respectively, Europeans and South Chinese. By contrast, the so-called archaic Homo sapiens did not differ from Homo erectus at any of the six anatomical points (data on the prebregmatic eminence of archaic Homo sapiens had been unavailable)

Data from modern and ancient native Australians provided the most interesting results. Remains of Australian aborigines from the conventionally-dated time period of 10,000–30,000 years ago (a mere flicker on the evolutionary time scale, even by the standards of human evolution itself) were found to differ in only one of the seven anatomical points of the skull (in terms of cranial-vault thickness) from their counterparts in Homo erectus. This was in the parietal eminence, which was much thinner in the not-so-ancient aborigines than in Homo erectus. Thus, the distinctiveness of the Kow Swamp remains stands re-affirmed. Even more surprisingly, presently living Australian aborigines differed from Homo erectus in only four of the seven anatomical points on the skull. These were in the following: lambda, parietal eminence, asterion, and occipital torus.

Of course, cranial-vault thickness is not the only anatomical feature that is supposed to distinguish Homo erectus from Homo sapiens. An older study by MacIntosh and Larnach attempted to enumerate the differences between Homo erectus and modern Homo sapiens. A typological approach was taken, with specimens of Java Man, Peking Man, and East African Man taken as exemplifying the ‘real’ Homo erectus. Seventeen allegedly distinctive traits of Homo erectus were selected. Members of modern human groups were ‘scored’ as sharing a trait with Homo erectus only when a given individual shared a cranio-anatomical trait to the same extent as did the aforementioned type specimens of Homo erectus. This eliminated borderline cases. At least 1% of a given modern population group had to possess a given trait of Homo erectus in order to be considered as sharing the trait with Homo erectus. Of course, most Homo erectus traits, when they occurred, did so at frequencies much greater than 1% of a given extant human population.

The results of this analysis are as follows: Most members of the human race were found to share only 4–5 of the 17 traits of Homo erectus, as defined above. However, this must be questioned since the sample sizes are very small (only 7–21 individuals for each group). The modern New Guineans had a much larger sample (95 individuals), and they were found to share 8 of the 17 presumably diagnostic traits. The modern Australian aborigines had the largest sample (202 individuals), and were found to share an astonishing 14 of the 17 Homo erectus traits.

The most recent evidence indicates that only a handful of features distinguish the presumed two species of man, and even these are of dubious validity. In addition, it is still recognized that most, if not all, of these few presumably diagnostic features are present in Homo sapiens, albeit infrequently. (MacIntosh, N.W.G. and Larnach, S.L., The persistence of Homo erectus traits in Australian aboriginal crania, Archaeology and Physical Anthropology in Oceania 7(1):1–7, 1972.
Wolpoff, M.H. and three others, The case for sinking Homo erectus: 100 years of Pithecanthropus is enough! in: Franzen, J. L. ed., 100 Years of Pithecanthropus: The Homo Erectus Problem, Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg 171, p.351, 1994.


They aren't merely chimps. Their brain cases are increasing, their limbs are being modified, their vertebrae are changing their articulations with their heads.

Nygdan, would love to discuss with you. Maybe we should start with Piltdown man, or possibly Peking man, how about New Guinea Man?


I suppose it comes down to what is the ‘definition’ of a fact. In my mind, a theory with data that stands in such stark opposition to other available is hardly a ‘fact.’


Again, none of these dissenting opinions have been in oppostion to evolution as a fact. organisms change thru time. There is nothign that prevents them from crossing the imaginary 'kind' barrier.

Except for the above noted lack of any evidence showing a crossing of this barrier

Furthermore Bones of many modern-looking humans have been found deep in undisturbed rocks that, according to evolution, were formed long before man began to evolve. Examples include the Calaveras skull, the Castenedolo skeletons, Reck’s skeleton, and many others. Other remains, such as the Swanscombe skull, the Steinheim fossil, and the Vertesszöllos fossil, present similar problems



The differences between humans and chimps are in some ways slight. Increased brain size, erect stance, more mobile fingers. They'd all fall under the term 'microevolution' if microevolution is 'below kinds'.

Diagreed. A chimp is a chimp, a human is human. There is no evidence of microevolution causing one organism to change into another. To my knowledge, speciation, is hardly ever if at all referred to as microevolution.


Even the bird to dinosaur transition almost starts to fall 'below the level of kinds' of animals and into the 'microevolutionary' change level.

BS. Dinosaur to bird transitions have never been classified as microevolution. Please point out a reference where this is referred to this way.


If 'macroevolution' wasn't occuring, then one wouldn't be finding these organisms with characters of two different groups.

Disagreed. If macroevolution is occuring we would find these transitional organisms.
Do I misunderstand you here?

And while not every type of transitional that probably had to have occured has been found, and, undoubtedly, not every kind has even been preserved, that hardly means that these ones that do exist aren't telling everyone anything.
Didn’t say there weren’t telling anyone anything, they are obviously telling you and I completely different things.


I agree that everything is not known. However, the evolution obviously occurs.
Microevolution obviously occurs.


There are transitional fossils. Not every fossil that one would like to have is there, but there are organisms that can't be neatly fit into one kind of creature or another.

This admitted controversy, and you can still claim it as a fact? Even in light of the scientists who would argue otherwise? (Please see above)


The existence of feathered birdlike dinosaurs and fish like limbed animals attests to this. The existence of very ape like organisms walking around the african savana, showing increasing brain capacities over time and more and more human like stances and gaits and technology shows that man did indeed evolve from more primitive organisms.

We have systematically demonstrated each of these to be controversial, and not without their opponents. How is this a fact?


And the overall structure of the fossil record also shows that organisms have been segregated into seperate fauna in time. One doesn't find Dinsoaurs in permian beds. One doesn't find chimps and dinosuars co-existing.

Need I cite numerous inconsistencies in the fossil record that make no sense in the context of evolution in addition to those already posted? Please refer to the section above, particularly with respect to plant fossils.


Its as solidly supported as any scienfitic theory.

Disagreed. Gravity is a solidly supported scientific theory, DNA--> RNA--> Protein is a solidly supported scientific theory. Evolution, by it’s very nature will never be ‘proven.’

Nygdan, thanks again for your efforts.



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