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Transitional Fossils
General-Pryce
I found this website:

[url]http://www.darwinismrefuted.com[/url]

And I realised that I could still be stumped by Creationsit questions at times as I had to go and research elements of the website (although some, such as Darwins quote regarding the eye which is constantly taken out of context by fundies I was aware of).

Basically, I'm still researching and learning more about evolution (Still just Evolution 101- basic phylogeny charts and clades etc), one Creationist question that always annoys me is "Why are there no transitional fossils such as fish monkeys?".

Although I knew this statement is a typical strawman which is innaccurate, i still had to research to find out why. Even after finding out, I still need a little clarification.

Basically, from what I've read and from what logic dictates this is why there are no transitional fossils of a fish monkey, I think:

There ARE transitional fossils. But the transitions are so minor that they are unnoticable unless you have thousands of fossils from every period of history. Of course I know that one species does not change into another, but that minor changes take place until a point of speciation occurs and the chart splits in two creating separate, closly related species.

The whole idea of transitional fossils of a fish monkey would require evolution to take place very quickly. Say point 0 is a fish and point 4 is a monkey, then point 1- 3 would have to have MASSIVE biological changes such as a fish with monkey arms, fish with monkey arms and legs, monkey with fish head, then finally full monkey at point 4.

However, if evolution took place over millions of years point 0- 4 becomes point 0- 4,000,000 instead. And as there are so many generations between 0 and 4,000,000 the changes will be very minute and unnoticable, and looking at point 0 and then directly at point 4,000,000 would confuse someone who thought the Earth was just 6,000 years old because there would HAVE to be a fish monkey for evolution to take place in such a short period of time as 6,000 years.

But as evolution took place over such a long period of time the changes are so minute that they are almost missed by any one who is not a biologist, and that is why there can be no fish monkey.

Does that make sense or am I barking up the wrong tree?
 
Bob of QF
Nope, you're on-target.

In case you didn't know about it, this: [url]http://www.talkorigins.org[/url] is a fantastic collection of refutations of ALL the tired creationist crap.

It's searchable, too.

As for the transitional question?

I usually reply, at first, (since the poster who first puts it out there is likely parroting creo-junk and hasn't a clue anyhow) that ALL fossils are transitional.

All of 'em are.

For no species is static, ever. All species are slowly transitioning into another species. Always.

Then, if they are actually serious, and not a one-post-troll, I go on to talk about ring species.

For at the heart of "no transitional fossils" is the ludicrous idea that "kind" means something, and that there is a magical barrier preventing "one kind" from becoming "another kind".

Ask a creo what "kind" means sometime; it's a hoot what they reply with.

Whatever they say, it can easily be demolished, for creo's use "kind" interchangeably with species, genus, phyla, etc. To them "kind" literally means whatever is convenient to them for their "argument".
Edited by Bob of QF on 12/05/2008 03:10
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
General-Pryce
Cheers Bob, I'll check out that link.
 
Skeeve
There is no such thing as "darwinism". :rolleyes:
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
Doubting Thomas
Skeeve wrote:
There is no such thing as "darwinism". :rolleyes:


Yeah there is... when a redneck says, "Hey y'all, watch this!" and blows himself up with illegal fireworks and gasoline, that's Darwanism at work.

On the subject of transitional fossils, I think Bob is on target. However, the fact remains that not every animal is going to leave fossils. The fact that we have fossils to study extinct animals from is amazing. But the conditions were not right every time in every place to form fossils from dead animals. Therefore, we are probably only studying a fraction of all the extinct animals that ever existed, most of which we'll probably never know existed because of lack of any kind of fossils.

And the idea that evolution caused the existence of a retarded monkey fish frog is a stupid strawman argument, because it's fairly obvious that a fish didn't evolve directly into a monkey which evolved directly into a human. Anyone who claims this is what evolution claims is very ignorant of evolutionary theory.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
catman
Also, many fossils probably exist somewhere and will never be found. The Earth is a helluva big planet when one is looking for a fossil. Like you, I find it amazing that so many have been found at all.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Bob of QF
Doubting Thomas wrote:
Skeeve wrote:
There is no such thing as "darwinism". :rolleyes:


Yeah there is... when a redneck says, "Hey y'all, watch this!" and blows himself up with illegal fireworks and gasoline, that's Darwanism at work.

On the subject of transitional fossils, I think Bob is on target. However, the fact remains that not every animal is going to leave fossils. The fact that we have fossils to study extinct animals from is amazing. But the conditions were not right every time in every place to form fossils from dead animals. Therefore, we are probably only studying a fraction of all the extinct animals that ever existed, most of which we'll probably never know existed because of lack of any kind of fossils.

And the idea that evolution caused the existence of a retarded monkey fish frog is a stupid strawman argument, because it's fairly obvious that a fish didn't evolve directly into a monkey which evolved directly into a human. Anyone who claims this is what evolution claims is very ignorant of evolutionary theory.


catman wrote:
Also, many fossils probably exist somewhere and will never be found. The Earth is a helluva big planet when one is looking for a fossil. Like you, I find it amazing that so many have been found at all.


You're both exactly on-target.

A nice analogy is a movie-film. Each frame (30 times a second, there are a shitload of frames) represents an individual organism. The entire movie represents the species.

A fossil is a single frame from somewhere in the movie. It tells us something about the whole movie, but not a lot.

If we have a random scattering of frames from the movie? We get a much better idea what the whole movie was like.

The more frames, the more complete the move is, the better we can reconstruct the whole.

But even with a single frame? There's quite a bit to learn about that movie. Not when compared to the whole movie, but far more than nothing at all.

Fossils are very rare events. I've seen estimates as low as 1/10 of a percent get fossilized under *ideal* conditions (i.e. shallow muddy-bottom seas, filled with hard-body/skeleton organisms, which are more apt to be preserved). Under less than ideal? Zero percent of the eco-system gets fossilized. That's an entire full-length movie, NONE of which we get to see....
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
jayon
Bob of QF wrote:...

You're both exactly on-target.

A nice analogy is a movie-film. Each frame (30 times a second, there are a shitload of frames) represents an individual organism. The entire movie represents the species.

A fossil is a single frame from somewhere in the movie. It tells us something about the whole movie, but not a lot.

...


Wow, I like that analogy. That would probably make things easier with that. That definitely is something that takes a lot of frames that when looked at one by one, don't seem to change at all. However, looked at on the whole you can see the changes quite well. If you look at the first and the last frame, you can't even tell sometimes how one got to the other and if you've never seen the movie, you'd have a hard time even guessing. Evolution is something that explains the movie. Yeah, I think I can find a way to use that. Thanks.
 
Cynic
Trouble comes when you start running into those Tarantino fossils.
 
Nails3Jesus0
Cynic wrote:
Trouble comes when you start running into those Tarantino fossils.


This one took me a few seconds. :lol:
 
catman
I know some transitional fossils. I played for some of them last night.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
jayon
I think my cold is getting worse and I need more sleep, because I can't seem to get either joke. I almost can see it, but I can't see the impression on the stone. I don't think there anyway to get to those jokes from here. Transitional falsels. Yeah, I think I'm out of it.
 
seeker
You know Jayon, transitional fossils like Peking man, reservoir dog and Ronnie Wood.
 
RayvenAlandria
We are a transitional fossil.

We have a bone the tail used to attach to and when feti we have gills.


...and there are bacteria who have evolved to eat plastic.
 
Bob of QF
RayvenAlandria wrote:
We are a transitional fossil.

We have a bone the tail used to attach to and when feti we have gills.


...and there are bacteria who have evolved to eat plastic.


We have too many teeth in our heads as adults, back when our jawbones were larger.

Our baby's heads are almost too large to be born through our women's reproductive tracts; even then, a significant number of women are still very much at risk during the process. (we developed large heads too quickly for the birth canal to keep up; almost)

Our spines are not designed for upright stance; it is really better suited to horizontal, quadruped orientation.

We still have muscles in our heads to tweak the position of our ears, as if those ears still resided on the top-portions of our skulls.

We have a remnant of a crop (appendix) that is nearly gone; likely a hold over from when we were strict vegetarians.

We have too many bones in our ears, a hold over from when our hearing canals were much longer than they are now.

We have too many toes on our feet, a hold over from when we lived in trees, and grasping toes were essential.

This is fun, actually...! :wink:
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Nails3Jesus0
Bob of QF wrote:
We have too many teeth in our heads as adults, back when our jawbones were larger.

Our baby's heads are almost too large to be born through our women's reproductive tracts; even then, a significant number of women are still very much at risk during the process. (we developed large heads too quickly for the birth canal to keep up; almost)

Our spines are not designed for upright stance; it is really better suited to horizontal, quadruped orientation.

We still have muscles in our heads to tweak the position of our ears, as if those ears still resided on the top-portions of our skulls.

We have a remnant of a crop (appendix) that is nearly gone; likely a hold over from when we were strict vegetarians.

We have too many bones in our ears, a hold over from when our hearing canals were much longer than they are now.

We have too many toes on our feet, a hold over from when we lived in trees, and grasping toes were essential.

This is fun, actually...! :wink:


Blasphemy! We are created in the perfect image of God Almighty! All biological diversification (except humans) has taken place in the last 6,000 years when God created the universe!
I made myself laugh just typing that.:lol:
Edited by Nails3Jesus0 on 12/07/2008 13:49
 
Bob of QF
Then, there's the outright "design flaws" in humans.

These obvious flaws would never have passed quality control, had humans been designed by anything resembling intelligence.

Example: our retinas. They are bass-ackwards. The light sensitive bits are behind the nerves, the blood vessels, the cell bodies. In fact, the in-gathering of the nerve fibers and vessels create a blind spot. We know a proper design is possible from a biological standpoint, because squids have a proper retina.

Example: the idiotic location of male reproductive glands. Why do these vulnerable, but oh-so-important (from a species survival standpoint) require being situated outside? Stupid "design".

Example: the combining of the eating and breathing tubes into a single box. Stupid, STUPID "design" Pretty much guarantees a person will choke several times in his or her lifetime, and a certain percentage will do so fatally.

Example: human sinuses. Clearly, not designed for an upright head position, yet we are stuck with it. It does not drain properly, leading to all sorts of inconvenient complications. Few of these complications are fatal, so we are stuck with a crappy layout.

Example: single blood pump. Where's the redundancy that is inherient in the remaining systems? Two kidneys, two lungs, two of most everything else, in fact. Even our brains contain two hemispheres, and an individual is well able to function with only one. But not the most critical organ in the body: only 1. And not in a very good location, either: it ought to be split into two organs, one lower, to better serve the lower organs, and the large muscles in the legs. The other higher in the chest, to better serve the brain. The main, or lower organ would pump faster during periods of extreme physical activity, while the "brain pump" could slow down, conserving energy, and reducing the danger of overheating the brain. The reverse would be true, under mental stress: the main pump slows, allowing more blood to flow to the brain pump, which speeds up to better supply the brain with needed nutrients and oxygen. Idiot design, as is currently laid out.

Example: human feet. Crappy design. The stresses for a foot, obviously not designed for the loads it has to bear, leads to all sorts of complications. Few are species-fatal, and so we're stuck with a crappy design.

These are just off the top of my head, this afternoon. The list is nearly endless, if you just think about it a bit.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
jayon
Bob of QF wrote:
Then, there's the outright "design flaws" in humans.
...


Ok, you've got my vote for quality control on the next design panel. Who want's to be the designer? Got any ideas?
 
General-Pryce
Jayon (ideas): Penises that can be detached therefore making adultery an act of an external organ and in no way our fault Grin

EDIT: Hmmm, my sense of humour whilst under the influence of Spanish Red Wine seems a little unfortunate! lol. Though detachable body parts would be cool- Any one whose seen Evil Dead 2 will appreciate the fun that can ensue!
Edited by General-Pryce on 12/08/2008 10:14
 
Doubting Thomas
Bob of QF wrote:
Our baby's heads are almost too large to be born through our women's reproductive tracts; even then, a significant number of women are still very much at risk during the process. (we developed large heads too quickly for the birth canal to keep up; almost)


I for one am for smaller heads rather than larger vaginas... Grin
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
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