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Is Michael Shermer a Disciple of Satan?

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Jun16-08, 07:36 AM
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Thanks for the excellent post by robertm:-)

I just have some questions about acouple of your points Robert.

1-can you give me some examples of transitional fossils?

2-also,do you have any sources for speciation?

Many thanks..
Jun16-08, 10:12 AM
P: 858
Quote Quote by grunger View Post
Thanks for the excellent post by robertm:-)

I just have some questions about acouple of your points Robert.

1-can you give me some examples of transitional fossils?

2-also,do you have any sources for speciation?

Many thanks..
1. Transitional fossils

Many creationists assert that the fossils record does not support evolution. They could not be more wrong. In fact, the fossils record show an enormous amount of evidence for evolution.

Transitional fossils, or more precisely, fossils with transitional features is what we would expect if universal common descent is true.

Transitional fossils from primitive jawless fish, sharks and rays to amphibians include, among others, Cladoselache, Tristychius, Ctenacanthus, Paleospinax, Spathobatis, Protospinax, Acanthodians, Canobius, Aeduella, Parasemionotus, Oreochima, Leptolepis, Cheirolepis, Osteolepis, Eusthenopteron, Sterropterygion, Eusthenopteron, Panderichthys, Elpistostege, Eusthenopteron, Obruchevichthys, Hynerpeton, Acanthostega, Ichthyostega, Pholidogaster, Pteroplax, Dendrerpeton acadianum, Archegosaurus decheni, Eryops megacephalus, Trematops, Amphibamus lyelli, Doleserpeton annectens, Triadobatrachus, Vieraella, Tiktaalik, Karaurus etc.

Transitional fossils from amphibians to the first reptiles include, among others, Proterogyrinus, Limnoscelis, Tseajaia, Solenodonsaurus, Hylonomus, Paleothyris, Captorhinus, Scutosaurus, Deltavjatia vjatkensis, Proganochelys, Hylonomus, Paleothyris, Petrolacosaurus, Araeoscelis, Apsisaurus, Claudiosaurus, Planocephalosaurus, Protorosaurus, Prolacerta, Proterosuchus, Hyperodapedon, Trilophosaurus, Captorhinus, Protocaptorhinus, Eocaptorhinus, Romeria etc.

Transitional fossils from synapsids to primitive mammals include, among others, Paleothyris, Protoclepsydrops haplous, Clepsydrops, Archaeothyris, Varanops, Haptodus, Dimetrodon, Sphenacodon, Biarmosuchia, Procynosuchus, Dvinia, Thrinaxodon, Cynognathus, Diademodon, Probelesodon, Probainognathus, Exaeretodon, Oligokyphus, Kayentatherium, Pachygenelus, Diarthrognathus, Adelobasileus cromptoni, Sinoconodon, Kuehneotherium, Eozostrodon, Morganucodon, Haldanodon, Peramus, Endotherium, Kielantherium, Aegialodon, Steropodon galmani, Vincelestes neuquenianus, Pariadens kirklandi, Kennalestes, Asioryctes, Cimolestes, Procerberus, Gypsonictops etc.

Transitional fossils between earlier primates and humans include, among others, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus ramidus, Australopithecus garhi, Australopithecus anamensis, Australopithecus robustus, Australopithecus boisei, Australopithecus aethiopicus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo georgicus, Homo florensis, Homo rudolfensis, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo ergaster, Homo neandertalensis, Homo spaiens idaltu, Homo sapiens sapiens etc.

These are just few of the vertebrates. There are many more vertebrate transitional fossils as well as mountains of transitional fossils for invertebrates.

Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ
Videos Detailing Transitional Fossils
Ken Miller on Whale Evolution

The National Academies of Science states that:

So many intermediate forms have been discovered between fish and amphibians, between amphibians and reptiles, between reptiles and mammals, and along the primate lines of descent that it often is difficult to identify categorically when the transition occurs from one to another particular species. Actually, nearly all fossils can be regarded as intermediates in some sense; they are life forms that come between the forms that preceded them and those that followed. The fossil record thus provides consistent evidence of systematic change through time--of descent with modification. From this huge body of evidence, it can be predicted that no reversals will be found in future paleontological studies.
2. Speciation

Multiple speciation events have been observed in real time.

Observed Instances of Speciation
Some More Observed Speciation Events

Many, many more have been observed indirectly.
Jun16-08, 10:40 AM
P: 858
Some questions for our resident creationist.

3. The Cambrian Radiation

If universal common descent is false, then why does the fossils record for the Cambrian period show a logical sequence of gradual transition from more primitive organisms to more complex?

"It takes from 600 to 520 million years ago before the typical Cambrian fauna of large shelly organisms (especially trilobites) finally develops. Eighty million years is not explosive by any stretch of the imagination. Now only is the explosion a slow fuse, but it follows a series of logical stages from simple and small to larger and complex and mineralized. First, of course, we have microfossils of cyanobacteria and other eukaryotes going back to as far as 3.5 billion years ago and spanning the entire fossils record since that ancient time. Then, about 600 million years ago, we get the first good evidence of multicellular animals, the Ediacara fauna. They are larger and multicellular, but did not have hard shells. The earliest stages of the Cambrian, the Nemakit-Daldynian and Tommotian stages, are dominated not by the little shellies, which were just beginning to develop small mineralized skeletons. Only after several more steps do we see the full Cambrian fauna. In short, the fossil record shows a gradual buildup from single-celled prokaryotes and then eukaryotes to multicellular soft-bodies animals to animals with tiny shells, and finally, by the middle Cambrian, the full range of large shelled invertebrates. This gradual transformation by logical advances in body size and skeletonization bears no resemblance to an instantaneous Cambrian explosion" (Prothero, Donald R., "Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters, 2007 p. 169).

4. The Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve

If universal common descent is false, then why do living organisms show suboptimal features that indicates both that natural processes has shaped the organism and common ancestry, since the features are shared between many species?

"Even more peculiar is the course of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which corrects the brain to the larynx and allows us to speak. In mammals, this nerve avoids the direct route between brain and throat and instead descends into the chest, loops around the aorta near the heart, then returns to the larynx. That makes it seven times longer than it needs to be! For an animal like the giraffe, it traverses the entire neck twice, so it is fifteen feet long (fourteen feet of which are unnecessary). Not only is this design wasteful, but it also makes an animal more susceptible to injury. Of course, the bizzare pathway of this makes perfect sense in evolutionary terms. In fish and early mammal embryos, the precursor of the recurrent laryngeal nerve attached to the sixth gill arch, deep in the neck and body region. Fish still retain this pattern, but during late human embryology, the gill arches are modified into the tissues of our throat region and pharynx. Parts of the old fish-like circulatory system were rearranged, so the aorta (also part of the sixth gill arch) moved back into the chest, taking the recurrent laryngeal nerve (looped around it) backward as well." (Prothero, Donal R. "Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters", 2007, pp. 37-38.)

5. The Chromosomal Fusion in H. sapiens

Humans have 46 chromosomes, yet the rest of the great apes have 48. We seem to be
missing a pair of chromosomes. It is likely that the common ancestor of humans and the great apes had 48 chromosomes, since most of the great apes have 48 rather than 46. Could the chromosome have gotten lost in our lineage? Nope. An entire chromosome getting lost would be fatal. So what must have happened is that our chromosomes must have gotten fused. So if common ancestry between humans and the great apes is correct, then we must necessarily find a fused chromosome in the human DNA. If we do not find it, evolution is wrong and we do not share a common ancestor with the great apes. A chromosome has special segments of DNA at the ends called telomeres and special segments in the middle called centromeres. Now, if it is the case that a chromosomal fusion event has taken place, then we should find one of our chromosomes having two centromeres and telomeric sequences out of place. The chimp genome was sequence a couple of years ago, and a striking confirmation of the evolutionary prediction was found. It turns out that the human chromosome 2 is the result of the head-to-head fusion between primate chromosome 12 and 13, that has multiple sub-telomere duplications and an inactivated centromere. The fusion site has been identified between bases 114455823-114455838.

Ken Miller on Human Evolution

If common ancestry between humans and the great apes is wrong, why does the empirical data strikingly confirm the bold evolutionary prediction?

I can continue to go on and on about the evidence for evolution and universal common ancestry, but there seems to be little point in doing so at this moment.
Jun16-08, 11:07 AM
P: 290
Welcome back grunger glad to see you are actually interested. We get a lot of 1 posters who don't really want a discussion. I am pretty sure your thanks was meant for Moridin, as you can see he is full of great post. Give his information a chance! Maybe he can bring you around to logic and away from the ill-logic.

Edit: Grunger i am going to assume you are religious and that is why you are questioning evolution. Please correct me if I am wrong. Just remember there is nothing to be afraid of if you start to see why evolution is considered to be a fact of life. You will not burn or be tortured or be cast aside. You will only be better for it. Science will never order you to believe in anything, unlike some systems of belief, as Mordin is doing it will simply offer information for interpretation.

No one here will crucify you for applying logic to your world.
Jun16-08, 11:17 AM
P: 858
Here is a video with several prominent Christian biologists talking about their faith and how evolution is compatible with it.

A talk by Kenneth Miller on evolution and his religious faith

Also check out these websites on theistic evolution:

God and evolution:
Jun16-08, 11:56 AM
P: 687
Discussions are much harder to follow if a poster is banned and their posts deleted...
Jun16-08, 11:58 AM
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Quote Quote by NeoDevin View Post
Discussions are much harder to follow if a poster is banned and their posts deleted...
The poster is not banned and none of his posts are deleted. The reason his post count is zero is that the posts he makes in general discussion does not increase your post count.
Jun16-08, 12:20 PM
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Quote Quote by Moridin View Post
The poster is not banned and none of his posts are deleted. The reason his post count is zero is that the posts he makes in general discussion does not increase your post count.
I was referring to the poster `tourettes', from earlier in the thread.
Jun16-08, 04:28 PM
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Quote Quote by NeoDevin View Post
Discussions are much harder to follow if a poster is banned and their posts deleted...
If their posts are deleted, then you shouldn't be following their discussion!
Jun16-08, 06:54 PM
P: 858
I have some time over, so I can spend some time on the claims of tourettes that can be found quotes in this post.

1. The entire geological column does not exist?

This is one of the more bizzare claims that creationists have put forward, but I guess it is understandable with their rather strange presuppositions. After all, the fossil record and geological column is filled with evidence for evolution and an old earth in abundance. The fact that the geological column does not exist in its entirety is completely irrelevant, since there are more than enough overlap that the full column can be reconstructed from those parts. Furthermore, this is hardly surprising -- it is entirely consistent with an old earth. The column can be found in sedimentary environments, that is, where the environmental conditions favor the accumulation of sediments. We would expect that various geological changes over time would shift areas back and forth between sedimentary environments and other types of environments.

In addition, there are many places on our planet where you can observe strata for all geological periods in the same place, such as the Bonaparte Basin of Australia.

2. Is the geological column out of order?

This claim is also surprising, since it is inconsistent with the first claim. The geological column cannot both exist and be out of order. The geologic column is never out of order in areas that have not been greatly disturbed resulting in minor folds and faults.

3. Fossilized Trees

Sudden flood deposition is not a problem for modern geology. Local floods and mudslides can deposit sediments up to several feet thick. Furthermore, trees buried in such sediments do not die and decay immediately since they can remain there for years or even decades. No tree goes through multiple strata layers. We know this because we can see that the top of the trees have been rotten, but other parts of the fossils to not show this. What creationists also forget to mention is that these trees are in many, many layers, further indicating sequential local floods.

4. Abiogenesis and evolution

Evolution is not abiogenesis and abiogenesis is not spontaneous generation. Evolution has to do with the cause of the diversity of life, whereas abiogenesis has to do with the origin of life. Modern abiogenesis research does not claim that life popped out of nowhere. Any prebiotic soup of chemicals did not give rise to single-celled organisms directly.

5. Darwin on his death bed

This has been discussed earlier in this topic.
Jun16-08, 07:04 PM
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The Darwin recanting on his dead bed fallacy was proved false by his daughter which was at his bedside during his final days and verified he never said such a thing.
Jun16-08, 11:29 PM
P: 252
Quote Quote by Chi Meson View Post
I'm totally in your camp on this one Moe. It's like the moon-landing-conspiracy-hoax hoax. I cringe when hearing a bad argument that's trying to support the side of truth .
What makes the moon conspiracy believers IMPOSSIBLE to believe is the fact that none of them have any sort of scientific or otherwise, qualifications. I watched a thing on this, and seriously, more than half of the proponents of it were sitting there, blathering away (in their horrendous hick speech), in their rocking chairs on their porches. Seriously, they need to get access to a good telescope and inspect the surface of the moon itself.
Jun16-08, 11:43 PM
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Here's a couple of fairly new articles I came across which seem to be quite interesting and relevant to the discussion on abiogenesis and evolution.

The first one is about possible evidence of extra-terrestrial amino acids, and the second is an example of experimental observation of evolution in E. coli.

1) Extraterrestrial nucleobases in the Murchison meteorite

Abstract: Carbon-rich meteorites, carbonaceous chondrites, contain many biologically relevant organic molecules and delivered prebiotic material to the young Earth. We present compound-specific carbon isotope data indicating that measured purine and pyrimidine compounds are indigenous components of the Murchison meteorite. Carbon isotope ratios for uracil and xanthine of delta13C=+44.5per mil and +37.7per mil, respectively, indicate a non-terrestrial origin for these compounds. These new results demonstrate that organic compounds, which are components of the genetic code in modern biochemistry, were already present in the early solar system and may have played a key role in life's origin.

2) Historical contingency and the evolution of a key innovation in an experimental population of Escherichia coli

Abstract: The role of historical contingency in evolution has been much debated, but rarely tested. Twelve initially identical populations of Escherichia coli were founded in 1988 to investigate this issue. They have since evolved in a glucose-limited medium that also contains citrate, which E. coli cannot use as a carbon source under oxic conditions. No population evolved the capacity to exploit citrate for >30,000 generations, although each population tested billions of mutations. A citrate-using (Cit+) variant finally evolved in one population by 31,500 generations, causing an increase in population size and diversity. The long-delayed and unique evolution of this function might indicate the involvement of some extremely rare mutation. Alternately, it may involve an ordinary mutation, but one whose physical occurrence or phenotypic expression is contingent on prior mutations in that population. We tested these hypotheses in experiments that "replayed" evolution from different points in that population's history. We observed no Cit+ mutants among 8.4 x 1012 ancestral cells, nor among 9 x 1012 cells from 60 clones sampled in the first 15,000 generations. However, we observed a significantly greater tendency for later clones to evolve Cit+, indicating that some potentiating mutation arose by 20,000 generations. This potentiating change increased the mutation rate to Cit+ but did not cause generalized hypermutability. Thus, the evolution of this phenotype was contingent on the particular history of that population. More generally, we suggest that historical contingency is especially important when it facilitates the evolution of key innovations that are not easily evolved by gradual, cumulative selection.

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