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#106

Post by Mastermind » Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:24 pm

BobSmith wrote:
There is documented fossil evidence of punctuated equillibrium that you obviously haven't heard of:

http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/horner.html
I was under the impression that the fossil record leans far more towards punctuated equilibrium than it does towards gradualism. If it was the other way around, we'd see a far smoother level transition in it, no matter what % of it is complete.
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#107

Post by August » Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:41 pm

Do you mean invertibrae to vertibrae evolution? Many invertabrates are chordates.
No, I meant what I wrote. Although I'm no expert, I know about invertabrate chordates.
The cambrian explosion took about 40 millions years, it was only sudden geologically speaking. It marked a radiation of diversity in the oceans. There are many possible explainations for why there are not many pre-cambrian fossils. One is that the cambrian explosion marks a point where life became able to mineralise its body to create hard parts that would easily fossilise. Another is that the environment on earth before that time was damaging to fossils. Of course none of these explainations are considered fact and there is lots of debate over this by scientists.
Ok. I won't labor the point, but how do you then explain the sudden appearance of phyla during the Cambrian, if there are no clear ancestors? So we agree for now that this remains a mystery to science, although there are hypothesis?
The cambrian explosion is a mystery and a problem that science seeks to explain, but it is not something that disproves evolution. Tigers and bats suddenly appearing in the cambrian would be a disproof as there would not be enough time for these to evolve. But small sea creatures aren't. So the cambrian explosion is an unsolved problem for evolution, but not a huge problem.
OK, like I already said, I'm no expert but the argument I'm trying to get across goes something like this:
Chordates include all vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) and some invertebrates. According to the most widely accepted model, echinoderms (sea stars, sea cucumbers, etc.) gave rise to chordates (and to hemichordates, as a side-branch).3 This model posits that a sessile (attached to the seafloor) echinoderm brought forth a sessile chordate (classified as a urochordate), similar to modern-day tunicates (sessile invertebrates with a free-swimming larval form). The urochordate then gave rise to a free-swimming cephalochordate, which in turn produced jawless vertebrates, followed by jawed vertebrates. The prediction for the fossil record, in light of the evolutionary model for chordate origins, calls for echinoderms, urochordates, hemichordates, cephalochordates, jawless vertebrates, and jawed vertebrates to appear sequentially. Given the extensive differences among these groups, their first occurrence in the fossil record should be separated by long time periods, much longer than the relatively few million years shown by the Cambrian Explosion. The China discoveries show, instead, the co-existence of echinoderms, hermichordates, cephalochordates, and jawless vertebrates in the earliest part of the Cambrian era.4 And now Chinese paleontologists have added urochordates to this list with the discovery of a tunicate in lower (earlier) Cambrian rocks.5 Before the Cambrian era, no such animal groups existed on Earth. In other words, early in the Cambrian period, when complex animal life first appeared, the kinds of creatures that should have given rise (according to evolutionary theory) to the jawed vertebrates emerged concurrently. To compound this problem, Chinese paleontologists now recognize an additional phylum (Vetulicolia) as part of the Cambrian event.6 This taxa's features place it at the base of the chordate evolutionary tree. This makes the Cambrian explosion that much more dramatic. In the words of the Chinese scientists, “the co-occurrence of stem-group deuterostomes [Vetulicolia] and agnathan [jawless] fish are consistent with an 'explosion' of metazoan body plans in the latest Neoproterozoic and early Cambrian.
The sources include this, and some conclusions are from Fazul Rana.
# D. —G. Shu et al., “Lower Cambrian Vertebrates from South China,” Nature 402 (1999): 42-46; Jun-Yung Chen et al., “An Early Cambrian Craniate-like Chordate,” Nature 402 (1999): 518-22.
# Cleveland P. Hickman, Sr. et al., Integrated Principles of Zoology, 6th ed. (St. Louis, MO: The C. V. Mosby Company, 1979), 476-81.
# D. —G. Shu et al., “An Early Cambrian Tunicate from China,” Nature 411 (2001): 472-3.
# D. —G. Shu et al., “Primitive Deuterostomes from the Chengjiang Lagerstatte (Lower Cambrian, China),” Nature 414 (2001): 419-24.
# D. —G. Shu et al., “Primitive Deuterostomes,” 419-24.
Well done for pointing out my mistake of asking for "modern animals". what I really should have emphasised is that I was wanting something like rabbits, or other mammals. Jawless fish are very ancient (none of the earliest fish had jaws) so finding out that there were jawless fish in the cambrian (which I didn't know before) doesn't really ring alarm bells for me. I am sure a lot of other small cambrian sea life still exists in similar forms today as well.
I was just joking with you. I would be disappointed if it was that easy. :D
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#108

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Fri Apr 08, 2005 8:25 pm

Mutations don't add information if you define information as something mutations can't add (an old piece of anti-evolutionist circular reasoning)
It's not circular reasoning. And it's not an old piece either. If mutations cannot add new information, then new structures cannot form, and therefore evolution cannot not occur. Now how is that circular, looks linear to me. Sorry for jumping far off-topic, which I still don't remember. I think some science is circular reasoning though. A scientist looks at a fossil with the preconception of evolution, analyzes the fossil, and of course, the new fossil backs up evolution (Nebraska man, piltdown man, java man, australiopithicus, homo erectus, neanderthall...do you admit that half aren't transitions any more, right? They've all been debunked, but I was wondering which ones you think are transitions. The question popped up, so I wrote it down). Now, I can't go after the so called transitions because I don't know anything about them, obviously :? as was pointed out.

And nice job august-I need research skills....right now would be nice.
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#109

Post by BobSmith » Sat Apr 09, 2005 5:31 am

AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:It's not circular reasoning. If mutations cannot add new information, then new structures cannot form, and therefore evolution cannot not occur.
You haven't defined information in terms of genetics, let alone shown that mutation cannot add that information. Why even use the word information? You seem to be basically saying mutations cannot add new structures. Do you know why you are using the word "information"?

If we had a discussion about weather systems and I bought up the term information, you would probably be as suprised as I am now. You would probably want to know how I was defining information in terms of weather and thinking that I was just unnecessarily complicating the discussion by bringing in undefined jargon.

If I gave you a string of nucleotides would you be able to give me the amount of information in that string? If not then how can you know that various mutations don't add "information" (whatever that it)?
A scientist looks at a fossil with the preconception of evolution, analyzes the fossil, and of course, the new fossil backs up evolution
No amount of preconception is going to turn a rabbit fossil into a human fossil. The fact remains that there are transitional fossil forms represented by mutliple individual fossils that give an overall complete skeleton of that species. You can nit-pick over fossil individuals with only fragmentary evidence, but you are going to find it next to impossible to argue species such as Neandertal were just like us. Afterall dozens of Neandertal skeletons have been found, not just one and the DNA from multiple Neandertal fossils has been sequenced and compared with our DNA. The conclusion is that Neandertal were not just like us, having more variation than between any two races of modern human. Same goes for Homo Erectus, that are even more different than us. There has even been a near complete Homo Erectus skeleton found:
http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/~reffland/an ... rkana.html
(Nebraska man, piltdown man, java man, australiopithicus, homo erectus, neanderthall...do you admit that half aren't transitions any more, right? They've all been debunked, but I was wondering which ones you think are transitions. The question popped up, so I wrote it down).
Only Piltdown man and Nebraska man in this list have been debunked as hoaxes - and hoaxes perpetrated by individuals, not the entire scientific community. Hoaxes exposed by evolutionists, not anti-evolutionists. Further it should be remembered that Piltdown man and Nebraska man represent two fossils found amongst thousands. With almost any large collection of data you will get a few hoaxes and mistakes.

Here is a list of just some of the genuine fossil hominid species found - most comprising of many fossil individuals found on seperate occasions:

-Australopithecus anamensis
-Australopithecus afarensis
-Australopithecus africanus
-Homo habilis
-Homo georgicus (an intermediate between habilis and erectus)
-Homo erectus
-Homo ergaster
-Homo neanderthalensis

All representing various intermediate stages between ape and human. None of this existed in Darwins time (with perhaps the exception of neandertal, I cannot remember). All these species have forms which are at *different* levels of intermediate form between ape and human. How can this possibly not be evidence for evolution seeing as evolution expects to find different levels of intermediate form between ape and human in the fossil record ? Evolution does not only explain these fossils - it predicted them.

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#110

Post by August » Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:17 am

Hi Bobsmith,

Can you please post your source(s) for research purposes? I am interested to see how the conclusion was reached that these were progressive, and not contemporaries.

Thanks
Here is a list of just some of the genuine fossil hominid species found - most comprising of many fossil individuals found on seperate occasions:

-Australopithecus anamensis
-Australopithecus afarensis
-Australopithecus africanus
-Homo habilis
-Homo georgicus (an intermediate between habilis and erectus)
-Homo erectus
-Homo ergaster
-Homo neanderthalensis

All representing various intermediate stages between ape and human. None of this existed in Darwins time (with perhaps the exception of neandertal, I cannot remember). All these species have forms which are at *different* levels of intermediate form between ape and human. How can this possibly not be evidence for evolution seeing as evolution expects to find different levels of intermediate form between ape and human in the fossil record ? Evolution does not only explain these fossils - it predicted them.
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#111

Post by BobSmith » Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:14 am

August wrote:Ok. I won't labor the point, but how do you then explain the sudden appearance of phyla during the Cambrian, if there are no clear ancestors? So we agree for now that this remains a mystery to science, although there are hypothesis?
Yes the lack of pre-cambrian fossils (although there are some) is a mystery, but not a huge problem. This is a mystery caused by a scarcity of data, rather than a major problem caused by contradicting data.

For example a giraffe fossil shows up in the cambrian I would class that as a huge problem caused by contradicting data. However if no fossils are found in the precambrian this a mystery caused by a lack of data. The lack of pre-cambrian fossils could be due to hardly any life exiting back then, or it could be due to most life back then not being in a form that fossilised easily. Fossilisation is a very rare event, for some animals such as soft-bodied ones it is even more rare.

If the cambrian marks the point when life became able to develop hard body parts then the cambrian will also mark the point where organisms fossilised much easier and before the cambrian the fossil record would be scarce.
This scarcity of pre-cambrian fossils would mean that most phyla would appear in the cambrian. It all boils down to a lack of pre-cambrian fossils.

Something to point out is that while the representatives of the different survivng phyla today are very different from one another, back in the cambrian the representatives of the different phyla were very similar, in fact similar enough that if we lived back then we would lump them into the same lower groupings (orders and familys), but due to the top-down way the classification system works they must be defined as seperate phyla. Even so it is difficult to determine which phyla some fossil organisms belong to with some fossils having characteristics of more than one phylum.
echinoderms (sea stars, sea cucumbers, etc.) gave rise to chordates
Not to be picky but sea stars and sea cucumbers are echinoderms that appear later than the cambrian and wouldn't have gave rise to chordates (that already existed by that time)
The prediction for the fossil record, in light of the evolutionary model for chordate origins, calls for echinoderms, urochordates, hemichordates, cephalochordates, jawless vertebrates, and jawed vertebrates to appear sequentially.
Jawed vertebrates appear quite a while after the cambrian, so are in the correct place and that leaves the rest.

Clearly this specific topic of chordate evolution (or lack of evidence of chordate evolution) boils down to the scarcity of pre-cambrian fossils. Even if the above were found in sequential order (and I have no idea what order they are found in), there would still be mystery of from what pre-cambrian organism did all of these come from.
Given the extensive differences among these groups, their first occurrence in the fossil record should be separated by long time periods, much longer than the relatively few million years shown by the Cambrian Explosion
Could you expand on the part in bold. Why should the time period be longer than a few million years? That could represent millions of generations afterall.
Before the Cambrian era, no such animal groups existed on Earth.
There is some evidence (ie one poor fossil) of pre-cambrian echinoderms, but not enough to be conclusive: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/vendian/arkarua.html

Again the mystery here is where are the pre-cambrian fossils. Yes you can derive all sorts of enigmas from that, such as "Before the Cambrian era, no such animal groups existed on Earth", but ultimately they all stem from the same root mystery: the scarcity of pre-cambrian fossils. I am sure that more precambrian fossils will be found (it would be odd if no more were found), and perhaps they will shed more light on pre-cambrian life.

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#112

Post by BobSmith » Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:44 am

August wrote:Hi Bobsmith,

Can you please post your source(s) for research purposes? I am interested to see how the conclusion was reached that these were progressive, and not contemporaries.
I took species I had heard of from the list here: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/specimen.html

I have read almost everything about it online as I am not a paleontologist.

There are the paeleontology papers that analyse a fossil when it is found, or review fossils to date, but like most scientific papers they go way over my head and I find it impossible to follow them as they use field specific words (in paeleontology they seem to use the long names bones a lot..but the genetic ones are far far worse..I can read entire paragraphs without a clue what is going on).
Also a lot of them require subscriptions to view online. I found an example one about the brain of that recent dwarf species here so you can see what I am talking about: http://www.anthro.utah.edu/journalclub/ ... hobbit.pdf

Instead I tend to rely on summaries done by people on blogs, or websites that are easier to read. Of course I realise by doing that I am putting trust in two layers of people to report it correctly rather than one.

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#113

Post by Prodigal Son » Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:33 am

bobsmith,

:lol:

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#114

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:24 pm

Bobsmith, I wasn't saying evolutionist are stupid and see human fossils instead of rabbit fossils. I was saying that people who must believe something may see something that isn't there. And Piltdown was a hoax, but Nebraska man wasn't (not that I read). If it were a hoax, they would have had more than a tooth, they would have had a fake skull to boot. Though, there is a hoax associated with it-drawings of Nebraska man :roll: ...

And here, the information. I'll give you a link and say this-information (DNA in this case) requires a mental source. Thus, a mindless process, makes no information. But, that simple fact won't stop you, you'll keep on truckin, and we'll have a gay old time talkin for days to come. With good subjectively speaking old August making better points.

http://www.darwinismrefuted.com/end_of_ ... sm_01.html
http://www.darwinismrefuted.com/end_of_ ... sm_02.html
http://www.darwinismrefuted.com/end_of_ ... sm_03.html

And since that's a muslim site, I feel obliged to add:

http://www.islamlies.com/
http://www.nccg.org/islam/Islam04-Hadith.html[/url]
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#115

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:26 pm

August, I know you're laughing or at least smirking by now, cut it out.
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

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#116

Post by BobSmith » Sun Apr 10, 2005 4:56 am

You link to a muslim site with anti-evolutionist articles and then link to sites which say muslims are liars!
And here, the information. I'll give you a link and say this-information (DNA in this case) requires a mental source.
I have read the link.

The source of DNA is different to the evolution of DNA. Evolution is about how DNA changes over time according to mutation and natural selection to create new design. In many ways I think the link you gave is irrelevant to evolution and is instead talking about the origin of life. It doesn't mention mutation or natural selection but seems to be arguing against DNA suddenly appearing out of nowhere.

DNA is essentially just a sequence of symbols. There are many possible orders that work. Mutation changes the order of some symbols and natural selection prevents bad sequences from surviving.

Mutation and selection can design. That is the only thing that is important. Talking about "information" is beside the point. The mechanism of evolution (random mutation and selection) is actually used in computer science as a learning algorithm because it is capable of designing and optimising designs. If it didn't work, it wouldn't be used.

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#117

Post by Mastermind » Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:37 am

BobSmith wrote:You link to a muslim site with anti-evolutionist articles and then link to sites which say muslims are liars!
That's kmart for you, an oasis of controversy.
Are you threatening me Master Skeptic?

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#118

Post by Felgar » Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:17 pm

BobSmith wrote:Mutation and selection can design. That is the only thing that is important. Talking about "information" is beside the point. The mechanism of evolution (random mutation and selection) is actually used in computer science as a learning algorithm because it is capable of designing and optimising designs. If it didn't work, it wouldn't be used.
Sure, no one is questioning that living things can adapt. But 2 larger conclusions of that are being called into question. The first is that such adaptation can be taken so far as to actually create a new species, rather than just alerting the population of the species. In all our expirements, we have yet to actually alter the fruit fly into a new species of insect.

The second whether those adaptations are capable of "adding information" which means, are those adapations capabe of actually providing a species with a capability that was not formerly somewhere in its DNA code. Like bacteria eating nylon - it's possible (likely) that a very small minority of bacteria were already capable of digesting nylon. Except now that this trait benefits the population, it becomes much more common and the traits of the population as a whole are altered. What KM is saying does not happen, is that an entirely new capability is created. Toxin resistance of viruses and bacteria are in the same category - DNA to provide new resistances is not created, but rather individuals carrying the DNA for resistance spread the trait throughout the population.

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#119

Post by BobSmith » Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:31 pm

Like bacteria eating nylon - it's possible (likely) that a very small minority of bacteria were already capable of digesting nylon
Before nylon existed? Why is that likely, and why have they not sprang up everywhere there is nylon? I'll give you it may be possible, but far from likely.
Toxin resistance of viruses and bacteria are in the same category - DNA to provide new resistances is not created, but rather individuals carrying the DNA for resistance
No, if you take a bacterium with no resistance and put it in a petri-dish and allow it to found a colony of millions of bacteria, then if you introduce penicillin you will get some bactieria surviving. They are resistant bacteria. The resistance was not inherited so it must have come from mutation. This area has been studied a lot obviously and it is known it comes from mutation. This kind of experiment was done decades ago to show that mutation is the cause of this variation - it is one of the basic parts of genetics.

There are no dominant and ressessive genes in bacteria because reproduction is assexual. A bacterium is essentially clones of its parent. If there were no mutation all bacteria would be the same and resistance to anti-biotics would be impossible.
But 2 larger conclusions of that are being called into question. The first is that such adaptation can be taken so far as to actually create a new species, rather than just alerting the population of the species. In all our expirements, we have yet to actually alter the fruit fly into a new species of insect.
All speciation is is two populations of a species either being unable to interbreed, or behaviourly tending not to interbreed. At that point you have two species, not one. So seperate species do not have to look very different at all. In fact there are loads of species of fly and they all look "just like flies". Speciation is just the sexual isolation of two groups, it doesn't mean that those two groups will be dramatically different. (just subtley different in either behaviour or appearance)

Sexual isolation does not have to be caused by physical inability to interbreed either, it can also be caused by the seperate groups tending to choose not to breed. For example lions and tigers can interbreed, yet they are treated as different species because they behaviourly tend not to interbreed in the wild.

For this reason you could have two species of fly that *can* interbreed but behaviourly choose not to. Obviously there have to also be subtle differences in appearance and behaviour, but nothing dramatic is required.

The species barrier is not at all clear as species are human defined groups. Often there is difficulty deciding if two populations should be considered the same species or not. If you do deliberately get speciation of a creature in the lab, both new species won't look at all that different to the original species because all you have done is an experiment to limit interbreeding, not to change form.

There have been several documented speciations of flies in labs. There are some listed here: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

There have also been speciations due to mutations in plants, and in some other cases too. It's just not dramatic because all that has happened is two populations have ceased to interbreed. They don't look much different.

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#120

Post by Felgar » Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:48 am

BobSmith wrote:
Toxin resistance of viruses and bacteria are in the same category - DNA to provide new resistances is not created, but rather individuals carrying the DNA for resistance
No, if you take a bacterium with no resistance and put it in a petri-dish and allow it to found a colony of millions of bacteria, then if you introduce penicillin you will get some bactieria surviving. They are resistant bacteria. The resistance was not inherited so it must have come from mutation. This area has been studied a lot obviously and it is known it comes from mutation. This kind of experiment was done decades ago to show that mutation is the cause of this variation - it is one of the basic parts of genetics.

There are no dominant and ressessive genes in bacteria because reproduction is assexual. A bacterium is essentially clones of its parent. If there were no mutation all bacteria would be the same and resistance to anti-biotics would be impossible.
I'm not convinced that mutations are the cause here. I'd like to see some good documentation on DNA sequencing research that has been done, that shows the appearance of a new gene with new DNA sequences that provide resistance for the bacteria. If you have a link, please provide it. And I hope you don't link to talk origins. ;)

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