Transitional Forms

Posted by karl on September 03, 1998 at 16:51:26:

Boy, what a bummer. No transitionals to be found.

I thought the evolutionist had museums full of them. Or is that just the way they talk?

I asked for a series of transitionals and got basically nothing. Why is that? If they actually existed the evolutionist should not have had a problem presenting them. If they don't exist I could understand the reluctance to post the transitionals.

One would think with all of the species of animals that roamed the earth over the billions of billions (say it like Sagan) of years they would have no problem . What do we actually find? Fully complete animals. No in-be-tweens. Just as the bible says God (Jesus) created them.

It's been over 100 years for the transitional search, what gives?

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Posted by Joe Meert on September 03, 1998 at 17:01:08:

In Reply to: So much for the transitionals. posted by karl on September 03, 1998 at 16:51:26:

Because I've already decided what a transitional should look like. However, if you are really interested you might look.  Or you might choose to do some research into foraminefera which show a wonderful series of transitional forms. Or you just might ramble on and complain that no-one answers your questions or even change the subject and talk about woodpeckers. In fact, I bet you think that woodpeckers offer some proof against evolution. Nah, no-one is silly enough to make such an argument.

Cheers

Joe Meert

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Response to Joe from karl

Why should you Joe?

Posted by karl on September 03, 1998 at 17:20:20:

In Reply to: you mean, posted by Joe Meert on September 03, 1998 at 17:01:08:

Joe Meert said,

"Or you might choose to do some research into foraminefera which show a wonderful series of transitional forms. Or you just might ramble on and complain that no-one answers your questions or even change the subject and talk about woodpeckers. In fact, I bet you think that woodpeckers offer some proof against evolution. Nah, no-one is silly enough to make such an argument."

Joe,

Concerning the foraminefera, present-day fresh water mollusc species show remarkable plasticity of shell form when they grow in various water conditions.

Differences in water hardness, bottom substrate and other environmental influences can trigger phenotypic variability within the population of a single species, such as Britian's common pond snail, lymnaea peregra, with the results that shell form can vary widely.

Other studies have shown where the same species can produce many different variations depending upon the environment.  Could this also be true with the foraminefera? Do the shells from the foraminefera order show evolution on a taxonomic scale higher than the Genus level? Has evolution produced a new Family? Or do they only show a species to species evolution which has been confused with the plasticity of the shell?
BTW joe: The woodpeckers complex tongue system is so long that he has to put it somewhere. God in His creation wisdom had a solution, attach it to his right nostril through the following ingenius method. The unique complex tongue of the woodpecker is extended by a complex system which includes a very long hyoid (tongue-base) extensible bone- sheathed muscle apparatus which help to control the protrusion and retraction of the tongue. The tongue system splits in two, like a Y, exits through a hole in the back of the beak. Each half then goes under the skin on separate sides, up and around the back of his head, where it is joined together as it passes over his forehead area, then into the right nostril where it is attached.   Of course creation can't be true right? Then explain the evolution of this tongue system.

Karl

The challenge continues:

Show me a series of fossils that clearly demonstrate the evolution of one species into another species inwhich the new species is a member of a different taxonomic rank of Family.  Or (if you don't like taxonomic ranks and your a cladistics fan).  Show me a historical series of fossils that clearly demonstrate the evolution of one species into another species that shows a detailed common ancestral phylogenetic link in which the new species has a group of derived traits which is proceeded by primitive traits.

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Response to karl from Brett:

Woodpecker nonsense

Posted by Brett on September 03, 1998 at 18:06:01:

In Reply to: Why should you Joe? posted by karl on September 03, 1998 at 17:20:20:

Karl has been spouting this claim about woodpecker tongues in talk.origins for years. Nevermind that he has the basic facts of woodpecker anatomy or that he's been corrected on his errors literally dozens of times.  Here is an article Chris Brochu wrote in  Response to Karl's broken-record claims about woodpecker anatomy:   I'm getting very tired of this. Either retract the errors in this, which have been pointed out to you before, or be quiet.  You're beginning to behave like Ed Conrad.

(I note you now refer to the "tongue apparatus," which is an improvement. But, there are still flaws. Read on.)   In article ksjj, [email protected] writes:

TONGUE:

Q. how did the sticky glands evolve and what use was the tongue glands, when the glands were not completely formed? 
Please forgive the argument ad capslock, but the "sticky glands" are

MODIFIED SALIVARY GLANDS. They were SALIVATING before the woodpecker used them to collect insects. And, in case you haven't noticed, your own saliva is sticky. Where is the problem. I want a yes or no here - does this answer your question?

The woodpecker also has specially designed bristles on his tongue that when he sticks it deep inside of a hole he can tell the difference between a larva or piece of tree.

ALL vertebrate tongues are sensitive. Yours is too. I bet you could tell a larva from a piece of wood with your tongue. Not that I've tried, but our tongues are very sensitive.  For that matter, intelligence experiments with African gray parrots show they can distinguish plastic, metal, and wood with only their tongue.   Woodpeckers don't do anything that special.

Q. how did all 3 of these sensory features of the tongue evolve together?

Q. How do you know they evolved that way? I mean, the precursors for these things are present in all birds.........

What use would they be when they were not functional?

When were they not functional?

The tongue of an ordinary bird attaches to the back of the birds beak.  Not so with the woodpecker. The woodpeckers complex tongue is so long that he has to put it somewhere. God in His creation wisdom had a solution, attach it to his right nostril.  This is incorrect. I would like a retraction. In NO species does the tongue itself actually attach to the nostril. Period. I don't care what a birder's guide says, either - anatomical manuals and, better yet, dead woodpeckers show that the hyoid sometimes wraps around, but the tongue itself never leaves the pharynx.
This unique complex tongue of the woodpecker is extended by a complex system which includes a very long hyoid (tongue-base) extensible bone- sheathed muscle apparatus which help to control the protrusion and retraction of the tongue. The tongue system splits in two, like a Y, exits through a hole in the back of the beak.

This is better. But, ALL tetrapod hyoids fork. Yours does. Mine does.   That a woodpecker's hyoid splits is to be expected.  For that matter, the muscles of a woodpecker hyoid apparatus are large, but none of them are unique to woodpeckers.  Each half then goes under the skin on separate sides, up and around the back of his head, where it is joined together as it passes over his forehead area, then into the right nostril where it is attached.  Not attached, actually. It merely passes through it. And only in some woodpeckers - in others, it wraps around the right orbit, or lies against the braincase without getting so far as the rostrum.

Q.  What is the evolutionary mechanism that allowed the tongue mechanism to take such a unique and complex path from the beak to the nostril?

It's called hypermorphosis. All that happened, as far as we can tell, is that the hyoid got bigger. A big tongue can cause this epigenetically.   Since all hyoids fork anyway, it simply passed dorsal to the pharynx and around the braincase. Having it halfway between the pharynx and nostril is no problem, since some living woodpeckers do that anyway.

What good was it when it was not complete and fully functional?

When was it not fully functional?

FEET:

The woodpecker also has feet that are different from normal birds.

Define "normal bird".

The woodpecker uses these special feet, that is having two middle toes forward and the first and fourth toes backward, sharp claws and the appropriate tendon and leg muscles which allows the feet work properly.

Much like we get in other birds, like owls, creepers, and parrots. But maybe these aren't normal either?

Q. How did the woodpecker climb and hold on while drilling holes with normal bird feet?

Maybe the same way some passerines do it - they just hold on tight. All the woodpecker foot does is give an extra toe for ventral support - there's no reason to believe other birds can't do that. In fact, I've seen non-piciform birds grasp trunks with "normal" feet several times.
Perhaps you should tell them they can't actually do it.  How did the toes move from the front to the back of his feet? What good would they have been if they were sideways or little nubs growing out of the back of the foot?  A developmental rotation of the appropriate metacarpal would do it. It shows up in domestic birds from time to time.

TAIL FEATHERS:

The woodpecker has extra stiff and specially designed tail feathers that are shorter than other birds. The tail feathers are tipped with spines which are used as a prop when climbing and as a brace when drilling holes.

Q. Seeing how the stiff/spined tail feathers are used to support the woodpecker during drilling, how was he able to drill holes without the added support.

Again, the same way passerines that pick at trees do it. Or, better yet, the way non-picid piciforms do it. Believe it or not, not all piciforms are woodpeckers, but most peck away at things. Those that are not woodpeckers lack many of the specializations you list. I wonder how they've survived all this time......

[shortened]

Q. what  evolutionary mechanism allows for the beak to separate and then develope shock absorbing material?

Well, since it isn't really separated at all - in fact, it's more tightly fixed to the braincase than in other birds - there's not much to explain.   The "shock absorbing material," I think, is a modified pneumatic cavity found in all birds.  When he is drilling the sawdust that is made is kept out of his nose by slit like nostrils that are covered by fine wiry feathers.

Q. How did he keep from breathing the sawdust when these wiry feathers were not fully developed?

He or she probably did breathe some sawdust. Probably didn't kill it, either. I've sawed wood before, and certainly breathed some sawdust.

THE MATING CALL:

The woodpeckers mating call is a rapid drumming , performed by striking the bill on a dead limb or other resounding object. It seem he would have had a problem mating before he evolved and learned how to peck.  I guess the piciforms that use other mating calls don't really "mate," then.

chris

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Response to Brett from Helen:

The point about the woodpecker

Posted by Helen on September 03, 1998 at 18:46:05:

In Reply to: woodpecker nonsense posted by Brett on September 03, 1998 at 18:06:01:

What fascinates me about this variety of bird is how all these items seemed to have come together at the right time and in the right way. I noticed that Chris managed to pull apart Karl's anatomical list and deal with it that way, but the question remains, "Could the woodpecker have mutated to that specialty bit by bit?"  I don't think so. I think it was designed to do exactly what it does. The "rotation of the appropriate metacarpal" must have been in synch with the "tongue apparatus" winding around the skull, the skull structure itself, etc. etc.   I think I will chicken out on this one and call it design -- evolution just ain't that wonderful.

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Response to Helen from Brett:

I don't think you read Chris's  Response to Karl very well

Posted by Brett on September 03, 1998 at 22:23:20:

In Reply to: the point about the woodpecker posted by Helen on September 03, 1998 at 18:46:05:

elen, ignoring all the errors in Karl's presentation of woodpecker anatomy, which one of the woodpecker's features is unable to exist in the absence of any other of its features? In other words, which feature of the woodpecker's anatomy could not have evolved through natural selection?

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Response to Brett from Helen:

e: I don't think you read Chris's  Response to Karl very well

Posted by Helen on September 03, 1998 at 22:30:26:

In Reply to: I don't think you read Chris's  Response to Karl very well posted by Brett on September 03, 1998 at 22:23:20:

I will grant you a lot of possible variation naturally among birds -- but that tongue and the way it is protected in the skull -- I don't think that could have been anything other than designed.

But you are right about not reading the post as carefully as I would have liked to -- the lack of formatting and/or spacing made it very difficult, actually. I went through it about twice trying to pull apart the different things that were being said.  And, again, it is not that each one of the individual parts can't be excused away one way or another by evolution, it is that 1) that is exactly what I think you are doing -- excusing them away and 2) their appearance all together at the right time for that bird does seem to stretch the idea of natural selection -- and even of coincidence.

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Response to Helen from Brett

What do you mean, "at the right time"?

Posted by Brett on September 04, 1998 at 15:38:11:

In Reply to: Re: I don't think you read Chris's  Response to Karl very well posted by Helen on September 03, 1998 at 22:30:26:

What do you mean everything had to evolve "at the right time"? This question implies that two or more of the woodpecker's characteristics would have had to evolve at the same time. Why should that be the case? This was the same question I asked in my last post, and you didn't answer it.

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Response to Helen from Pat

Re: I don't think you read Chris's  Response to Karl very well

Posted by Pat on September 04, 1998 at 14:04:10:

In Reply to: Re: I don't think you read Chris's  Response to Karl very well posted by Helen on September 03, 1998 at 22:30:26:

Helen:

And, again, it is not that each one of the individual parts can't be excused away one way or another by evolution, it is that 1) that is exactly what I think you are doing -- excusing them away and 2) their appearance all together at the right time for that bird does seem to stretch the idea of natural selection -- and even of coincidence.

Pat:

Coincidence, no. I think you're right about that. But natural selection isn't coincidence. Characters don't evolve in isolation from the rest of the creature. Coevolution of characters tends to be the rule. For example, the more vigorous excavators among woodpeckers would tend to evolve both stronger beaks and better "shock absorbers" between beak and skull. And this is just what we find. But often, we find such characters have not evolved in equal measure in different species of the family we are studying. Therefore, we find that not all woodpeckers excavating live wood have feathers guarding their nostrils, althought it clearly would benefit all of them.

There's quite a variety of toe positions among these birds, although most of them do help in gripping the sides of trees. Some of the arrangements may work better than others, and some of them are clearly stages in evolution, but none of them are essential to survival.
I don't doubt that the woodpeckers with the best combination of adaptations for their particular niche are likely to be the survivors of the selection game. But that doesn't mean that those adaptations showed up all at once. Some of them, through coevolution, surely did. Others would have no reason to do so.

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Response to Helen from Jacques

Re: What about...trees?

Posted by Jacques on September 03, 1998 at 22:48:30:

In Reply to: the point about the woodpecker posted by Helen on September 03, 1998 at 18:46:05:

You know, the things that woodpeckers peck. What fascinates me is how all its items (leaves, branches, trunk, roots) seemed to have come together at the right time and in the right way. Could a tree have grown from a seed bit by bit? It appears to me that trees are irreducibly complex.

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Response to Jacques from Helen

wrong sort of analogy, Jacques

Posted by Helen on September 03, 1998 at 22:56:22:

In Reply to: Re: What about...trees? posted by Jacques on September 03, 1998 at 22:48:30:

Maturation and evolution are two different things.

However, if you could coax an acorn into growing into a grape vine, we might just have something here!

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Response to Helen from Pat

Karl's Compostite Woodpecker

Posted by Pat on September 03, 1998 at 23:52:33:

In Reply to: the point about the woodpecker posted by Helen on September 03, 1998 at 18:46:05:

Posted by Helen on September 03, 1998 at 18:46:05:

In Reply to: Karl still regurgitating his woodpecker nonsense posted by Brett on September 03, 1998 at 18:06:01:

What fascinates me about this variety of bird is how all these items seemed to have come together at the right time and in the right way.

Pat:

They didn't. No woodpecker has all of those features in their most evolved form. Remember, there is no such bird as "THE WOODPECKER". Rather, there are many different kinds of woodpeckers, and some are more evolved in some way than others, which are, in turn, less evolved in other ways. The notion that there's some kind of composite woodpecker with all of this, is fantasy.

Helen:

I noticed that Chris managed to pull apart Karl's anatomical list and deal with it that way, but the question remains, "Could the woodpecker have mutated to that specialty bit by bit?"

Pat:

Yep. There are woodpeckers in the process alive right now.

Helen:

I don't think so. I think it was designed to do exactly what it does. The "rotation of the appropriate metacarpal" must have been in synch with the "tongue apparatus" winding around the skull, the skull structure itself, etc. etc.

Pat:

Nope. In fact, the woodpeckers that excavate wood most vigorously and probe deepest,(ivorybills) don't have that  "metacarpal rotation". It's not necessary at all. Most ornithologists think it's an adaptation for perching on limbs, not trunks.
Similar examples exist for the nostrils, "shock absorbers", etc.

Helen:

I think I will chicken out on this one and call it design -- evolution just ain't that wonderful.

Pat:

Don't you mean "woodpeckering out"?

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Response to Pat from Helen

Oh, Pat....

Posted by Helen on September 04, 1998 at 00:30:37:

In Reply to: Karl's Compostite Woodpecker posted by Pat on September 03, 1998 at 23:52:33:

That just didn't sound right coming from me....:-D

I'll try to do some studying on woodpeckers, OK?

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Response to Helen from Pat

Re: Oh, Pat....

Posted by Pat on September 04, 1998 at 13:47:15:

In Reply to: Oh, Pat.... posted by Helen on September 04, 1998 at 00:30:37:

Helen:

That just didn't sound right coming from me....:-D

I'll try to do some studying on woodpeckers, OK?

Pat:

My aged Britannica has a nice descriptions of the piciforms. You might start there. Your local zoo might have an ornithologist who could get you the details on woodpecker anatomy. Good luck.

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Response to Helen from karl

Re: the point about the woodpecker

Posted by karl on September 04, 1998 at 16:10:05:

In Reply to: the point about the woodpecker posted by Helen on September 03, 1998 at 18:46:05:

Chris tried to pull apart my tongue system but in the end had to admitt I was correct. I sent Chris a picture via e-mail which showed what I had described. The references also back up my woodpecker tongue discription
The question remains, how did it evolve?

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Response to karl from Brett

Re: the point about the woodpecker

Posted by Brett on September 04, 1998 at 17:23:37:

In Reply to: Re: the point about the woodpecker posted by karl on September 04, 1998 at 16:10:05:

Karl, please provide a reference or picture that shows that:

1.The woodpecker's tongue attaches to one of its nostrils.

2.There is something unusual about the fact that the woodpecker's hyoid forks.

3.The woodpecker's beak is separated from its braincase.

Oh, and while you're at it, why don't you show us where Chris conceded you were correct.

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Response to karl from Pat

karl's composite woodpecker.

Posted by Pat on September 04, 1998 at 17:26:29:

In Reply to: Re: the point about the woodpecker posted by karl on September 04, 1998 at 16:10:05:

In Reply to: the point about the woodpecker posted by Helen on September 03, 1998 at 18:46:05:

Chris tried to pull apart my tongue system but in the end had to admitt I was correct. I sent Chris a picture via e-mail which showed what I had described. The references also back up my woodpecker tongue discription.   The question remains, how did it evolve?

Pat:

From simpler tongues. Not all woodpeckers have the elaborate adaptation of Dendrocopus sp. Many are simpler, although still longer than most birds. And the primitive piciforms have much simpler tongue/hyoid arrangements. You've tossed all these adaptations from different birds into one basket and invented a composite "woodpecker". It's just a figment of your imagination.

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Response to karl from Q

Karl

Posted by Q on September 03, 1998 at 17:07:41:

In Reply to: So much for the transitionals. posted by karl on September 03, 1998 at 16:51:26:

if you will check my post above you will know that your are making an untrue statement. Many have supplied you with lists of transitional fossils. Not just over the last 30 days but over the last several years.

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Response to Q from karl

Q-ster

Posted by Karl on September 03, 1998 at 17:28:00:

In Reply to: Karl posted by Q on September 03, 1998 at 17:07:41:

Q-ster,

You think? Just because some post a list means nothing. Here's a list of evolution;

Ping pong ball
wiffle ball
gap
soccerball
beachball
basketball.

List mean nothing . There has to be a reason why the items on the "list" are considered transitionals. When ever I ask, here is the reply back:

silence Q-ster

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Response to karl from Q

Up to (long)

Posted by Q on September 03, 1998 at 20:37:01:

In Reply to: Q-ster posted by Karl on September 03, 1998 at 17:28:00:

your usual standards I see.

I ran the phrase "transitional fossils" through Dejanews . This one came up with 233 hits. I went through three pages of them, all originally posted on the same date.

Karl can play little word games with himself all he wants, but as the saying goes, the truth will take care of itself.

From St. Andrew,

Let's take a lower bound from the number of transitional sequences identified by Cuffey, which would be somewhere around 200 or so.

Bibliographic entries come from the examples in Tables 1 & 2 in Roger Cuffey's excellent paper, Paleontologic evidence and organic evolution, which can be found in Montagu's "Science and Creationism" or the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 24(4).
Let's give a coarse comparison of ratios from these numbers.

Observed transitionals lower bound 200

---------------------------------- = ---------- = 0.0008

Catalogued fossil species 250,000

Catalogued fossil species 250,000

------------------------- = --------------- = 0.00003125

Est. total species 5,000,000,000

The representation of observed transitionals Cuffey's estimate likely *grossly* underestimates the number of species that have been placed into successions of species as "transitional" ones (i.e. transitional fossils at a species scale of change, or slightly broader). A comprehensive estimate would involve a great deal of compilation and categorization of each example depending upon the type of fossil occurrence and how you wanted to define "transitional", but it would likely result in a few thousand examples, at least, for the more reasonable definitions. It would still be a drop in the bucket compared to the total number of known species, let alone the total number of species that ever existed, but that is hardly suprising given the statistics of the sampling in general -- if you are missing most of the species entirely, then there isn't much hope of placing the ones you do have into successions of "transitional species". Some groups are better than others, though. For example, transitions between species abound in many microfossil groups because these fossils are often common through thick intervals of stratigraphy when they are found in catalogued species isabout 25 times more common than the representation of catalogued species in the estimated total number of species.

So it would seem that we are more likely (8-25 times) to detect transitionals among the fossils we have than detect an extinct species through the fossil record. So? The point that interests me is that we *do* detect more than 1000 times more likely a nontransitional form than a transitional form. We have 250,000 fossils and 249,800 are not transitional forms.

You can not say that about the estimated 249800 that Cuffey did not address. I know of plenty that Cuffey could not have incorporated, simply because their recognition post-dates his compilation, and I doubt the compiled anything close to the number that were available then.
The 200 number is a serious underestimate. Just a reminder.Yes, a tremendous underestimate. This is crucial. Let's take one influence upon transitional fossil sampling and see what it does to our expectation of abundance. Mayr's theory of peripatric speciation indicates that most speciation takes place in small isolated populations on the geographic periphery of the species distribution. We have thus a temporal, a spatial, and a numeric constraint upon the number of individuals available in the transitional period for fossilisation. Yes. Wesley did an estimate on the basis of similar logic and numbers several months ago (February). Not everyone agreed with it, and it did not incorporate everything, but it was not bad as a first approximation. I'll use very liberal figures for these constraints, and work with 1/100th the total species residence time, 1/100th the total species geographic area, and 1/100th the total population size.

In article , [email protected] (karl) wrote:

Where are the transitionals? Do you know why the evolutionist have such a difficult time posting them? Answer: They don't exist.
Karl, every animal, living or dead, is a transitional form. Of course, the fact that you refuse to accept even the possibility of evolution means that my first sentence means nothing to you, and I see no further reason for anyone else to waste his time with you. Until you stop baiting and actually attempt to engage in discourse (that's "original posts", not "regurgiposts") with other posters on here, I see no reason why anyone should favor you with a single line of text.

Author: Steve Geller

On 29 Aug 1998 "Wesley R. Elsberry" wrote:

Somebody may have proposed that we should find a smooth continuum of transitionals, but I have seen no evidence that that somebody was Charles Darwin. Where is Steve's evidence for his assertion?
You just supplied it in your Darwin quote:

"on the other hand, I do believe that natural selection will always act very slowly, often only at long intervals of time, and generally on only a very few of the inhabitants of the same region at the same time. I further believe, that this very slow, intermittent action of natural selection accords perfectly well with what geology tells us of the rate and manner at which the inhabitants of this world have changed. Agreed, Darwin didn't mention transitional fossils, but people reading his book picked up on it. If evolution is truly a slow, steady series of changes, we should see this in the fossil record. In fact, we see gaps. Some of them are surely the result of times and places where fossilization didn't happen. But there are too many jumps for darwinian gradualism to be the whole story of evolution. The most glariing "gap" in the "theory of creation" is that nobody has ever observed a creation; they are entirely hypothetical; natural selection is not."

Now, that's a statement I can agree with. I've been making it regularly. I have yet to get a creationist response other than a referral to the bible. Creationism would get a huge boost if somebody could come up with a clear plausible instance of a creation. The best so-far has been the cosmological big bang, which has nothing to do with creating new life forms. On the other hand, since nobody has built life in the lab from basic chemicals, it may be something like creation had to happen. I don't mean God speaking life into existance, because that's too simplistic. Life could have started as a lucky break, and continued as more lucky breaks -- eucaryotic cells, shelled animals, land-living animals, mammals, primates, Man. If biblical literalism could be relaxed a little, creation and evolution could be reconciled by thinking of divine miracles as implemented by lucky breaks.

sgeller

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Response to karl from Jim F.

Re: So much for the transitionals.

Posted by Jim F on September 03, 1998 at 17:38:38:

In Reply to: So much for the transitionals. posted by karl on September 03, 1998 at 16:51:26:

Karl asked for further details, so here is some more information on one of the fossils I presented to him earlier. Is it an ape or a human, Karl, or can't you tell the difference?

ER 1470 ( http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/1470.html ) is usually attributed to Homo habilis. Its brain size is 750-775 cc, slightly larger than even the largest of gorillas, and much larger than any other apes. It doesn't look like an ape's skull either; it has a nice rounded braincase and no large crests such as are found on gorilla skulls ( http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/gorilla.html ). On the other hand, it certainly isn't a Homo sapiens skull. Its brain size is at the extreme, extreme lower end of the H. sapiens range, and there are many other differences between it and sapiens such as huge teeth roots, a broad flat face, a lot of post-orbital constriction (narrowing of the skull behind the eyeballs, visible from above). It is a fascinating mixture of Homo and Australopithecus features:

"The endocranial capacity and the morphology of the calvaria [braincase] are characters that suggest inclusion within the genus Homo, but the maxilla [upper jaw] and facial region are unlike those of any known form of hominid." (Leakey 1973) "KNM-ER 1470, like other early Homo specimens, shows many morphological characteristics in common with gracile australopithecines that are not shared with later specimens of the genus Homo" (Cronin et al. 1981) "Ignoring cranial capacity, the overall shape of the specimen and that huge face grafted onto the braincase were undeniably australopithecine."

(Walker and Shipman 1996)

Such a mixture of features sounds like exactly the sort of thing creationists are asking for in a transitional fossil.

OK Karl, your turn. If you don't think that 1470 is transitional, tell us what it is, and why. You are of course welcome to reference any literature you want to.

I earlier showed Karl a fuller list and asked him to classify them (as always, he chickened out):

 

Karl replied:

Did you ever look at them? I did. Most of them are just skull tops or parts of jaws.   If you looked at them, why did you write such an obvious falsehood? Perhaps you can tell me which one of them is just part of a jaw? ONE of them might be considered as a skull top; the rest are more complete than that.

Jim F.

ER 1470

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Response to Jim F. from karl

Re: So much for the transitionals.

Posted by karl on September 04, 1998 at 17:29:22:

In Reply to: Re: So much for the transitionals. posted by Jim F on September 03, 1998 at 17:38:38:

Jim f. replied...

ER 1470 ( http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/1470.html ) is usually attributed to Homo habilis. Its brain size is 750-775 cc, slightly larger than even the largest of gorillas, and much larger than any other apes. It doesn't look like an ape's skull either; it has a nice rounded braincase and no large crests such as are found on gorilla skulls ( http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/gorilla.html ). On the other hand, it certainly isn't a Homo sapiens skull. Its brain size is at the extreme, extreme lower end of the H. sapiens range, and there are many other differences between it and sapiens such as huge teeth roots, a broad flat face, a lot of post-orbital constriction (narrowing o... I looked at both pictures? whats your point? I can show you a picture of a bear skull that is more of a closer resemblance to a dog skull than some types of dogs. In other words the bear skull look more like a dog skull than other dog skull do.

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Response to karl from Jim F.

Re: So much for the transitionals.

Posted by Jim F on September 04, 1998 at 18:57:39:

In Reply to: Re: So much for the transitionals. posted by karl on September 04, 1998 at 17:29:22:

I don't believe we were talking about bears and dogs.

The point is: what is _this skull_, ER 1470? I think it's transitional, and I've given reasons why, none of which you've disputed or even addressed. If you disagree with my assessment, what do _you_ think it is? You seem to believe you can reject _any_ fossil as transitional, without even bothering to look at it. At least, that is what your replies so far indicate.

Jim

ER 1470

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Respose to karl from gallo

A definition

Posted by gallo on September 03, 1998 at 23:50:44:

In Reply to: So much for the transitionals. posted by karl on September 03, 1998 at 16:51:26:

Karl: What do we actually find? Fully complete animals.

gallo: Maybe this is why you fail to recognize transitionals. Exactly what does an animal that is not fully complete look like?

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Response to gallo from Helen

this time, gallo....

Posted by Helen on September 04, 1998 at 00:36:24:

In Reply to: A definition posted by gallo on September 03, 1998 at 23:50:44:

You had me laughing. I hope you were at least smiling when you wrote that.

Strange pictures in my mind......

But perhaps Karl was referring more to creatures with half-formed or placed organs.

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Respose to Helen from Jim F.

Re: this time, gallo....

Posted by Jim F on September 04, 1998 at 11:49:24:

In Reply to: this time, gallo.... posted by Helen on September 04, 1998 at 00:36:24:

If something ape-like evolved into humans, what sort of half-formed or -placed organs would you expect to see?

Jim

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Response to Jim. F. from Helen

Re: this time, gallo....

Posted by Helen on September 04, 1998 at 11:55:46:

In Reply to: Re: this time, gallo.... posted by Jim F on September 04, 1998 at 11:49:24:

I was thinking a little more along the lines of lizard to bird, etc.....

You know I don't accept the common ancestor of ape and man as the truth. And the claim that the genetics are so close only goes to show that the genetics are not the whole picture, eh?

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Response to Helen from Jim F.

Re: this time, gallo....

Posted by Jim F on September 04, 1998 at 17:39:51:

In Reply to: Re: this time, gallo.... posted by Helen on September 04, 1998 at 11:55:46:

But since it was said that a transitional form should have something like half-formed organs, and you don't seem to know of any new organs that would separate apes and humans, does that mean there is *nothing* that you would accept as an ape/human intermediate?

If that is not the case, what *would* you accept?

Jim

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Response to Helen from Joe T.

Re: this time, gallo....

Posted by Joe T. on September 04, 1998 at 13:09:40:

In Reply to: Re: this time, gallo.... posted by Helen on September 04, 1998 at 11:55:46:

Helen: I was thinking a little more along the lines of lizard to bird, etc.....

You mean like the half formed structures as the reptile's jaw evolved into the mammallian inner ear?

Helen: You know I don't accept the common ancestor of ape and man as the truth. And the claim that the genetics are so close only goes to show that the genetics are not the whole picture, eh?  But when the genetic evidence agrees with the fossil evidence and one can find agreeing genetic evidence with several different and independent tests, then common ancestry would be a sound conclusion for someone without a religious bias, eh?

Joe

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Response to Joe T. from Helen

Re: this time, gallo....

Posted by Helen on September 04, 1998 at 13:12:25:

In Reply to: Re: this time, gallo.... posted by Joe T. on September 04, 1998 at 13:09:40:

1. -- ear to jaw -- yeah, along those lines....

2. The unbiased person would wonder what else was involved when studying man and ape seeing so much in the way of genetic similarity when it is quite obvious that there is a great gulf between the two.

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Response to karl from KSR

Re: So much for the transitionals.

Posted by KSR on September 03, 1998 at 23:59:32:

In Reply to: So much for the transitionals. posted by karl on September 03, 1998 at 16:51:26:

"Fully complete animals"--??? Unless there's some kind of genetic boo-boo, I think most typical organisms could be considered "fully complete." Even those considered transitional. KSR

 

 

 

 
 
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