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Archive for Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fossil key clue to evolution of fish

June 26, 2008

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The head of a Ventastega curonica is depicted in this artist rendering  provided by Philip Renne. Scientists have found the fossil skull of the most primitive four-legged critter in Earth's history, a key point in the evolution from fish to animals that eventually walked on on land. At lower left are two Bothriolepis.

The head of a Ventastega curonica is depicted in this artist rendering provided by Philip Renne. Scientists have found the fossil skull of the most primitive four-legged critter in Earth's history, a key point in the evolution from fish to animals that eventually walked on on land. At lower left are two Bothriolepis.

— Scientists unearthed a skull of the most primitive four-legged creature in Earth's history, which should help them better understand the evolution of fish to advanced animals that walk on land.

The 365 million-year-old fossil skull, shoulders and part of the pelvis of the water-dweller, Ventastega curonica, were found in Latvia, researchers report in a study published in today's issue of the journal Nature. Even though Ventastega is likely an evolutionary dead-end, the finding sheds new details on the evolutionary transition from fish to tetrapods. Tetrapods are animals with four limbs and include such descendants as amphibians, birds and mammals.

While an earlier discovery found a slightly older animal that was more fish than tetrapod, Ventastega is more tetrapod than fish. The fierce-looking creature probably swam through shallow brackish waters, measured about three or four feet long and ate other fish. It likely had stubby limbs with an unknown number of digits, scientists said.

"If you saw it from a distance, it would look like a small alligator, but if you look closer you would find a fin in the back," said lead author Per Ahlberg, a professor of evolutionary biology at Uppsala University in Sweden. "I imagine this is an animal that could haul itself over sand banks without any difficulty. Maybe it's poking around in semi-tidal creeks picking up fish that got stranded."

This all happened more than 100 million years before the first dinosaurs roamed Earth.

Scientists don't think four-legged creatures are directly evolved from Ventastega. It's more likely that in the family tree of tetrapods, Ventastega is an offshoot branch that eventually died off, not leading to the animals we now know, Ahlberg said.

"At the time there were a lot of creatures around of varying degrees of advancement," Ahlberg said. They all seem to have similar characteristics, so Ventastega's find is helpful for evolutionary biologists.

Ventastega is the most primitive of these transition animals, but there are older ones that are oddly more advanced, said Neil Shubin, professor of biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago, who was not part of the discovery team but helped find Tiktaalik, the fish that was one step earlier in evolution.

"It's sort of out of sequence in timing," Shubin said of Ventastega.

Ahlberg didn't find the legs or toes of Ventastega, but was able to deduce that it was four-limbed because key parts of its pelvis and its shoulders were found. From the shape of those structures, scientists were able to conclude that limbs, not fins were attached to Ventastega.

One question that scientists are trying to figure out is why fish started to develop what would later become legs.

Edward Daeschler, associate curator of vertebrate zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, theorizes that the water was so shallow that critters like Ventastega had an evolutionary advantage by walking instead of swimming.

Comments

Das_Ubermime 5 years, 9 months ago

supertrampofkansas,You are mostly correct. I probably should have warned you of gr and bondmen's rhetorical style before now (having engaged and observed both bloggers in many previous discussions). Gr believes in the creation story and that all of the fossil record can be explained by a great flood in which the heavier animals sunk to the bottom layers of sediment and the lighter ones are found in the top layers. Gr is unwilling to face contrary evidence (such as the fact that mammals exhibit an inversion of this) and will employ misdirection, vague replies, outright lies and attempts at subject changes to deflect someone from pushing the issue.Bondmen, on the other hand, will simply ignore that which he/she cannot answer and continue with their erroneous posts.Neither is intellectually honest with themselves or others, but both can be endlessly amusing if you know what to say. Maybe it is arrogant, but very rarely I just feel the need to make a comment to see how many consecutive posts or how crazy of a rant I can elicit from them. There may be a link between this and the amount of beer I have consumed in a night, but I haven't conducted a thorough study on this yet.

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supertrampofkansas 5 years, 9 months ago

Jonas,I think what gr is referring to is the singular use of ancestor. In other words, the idea that all organisms come from one organism. I believe gr is attempting to drive this toward abiogenesis. I am beginning to see this is typical of gr's style of argument. Referring to some problem cryptically and then try to find problems with your own responses. I think you hit the nail partly on the head in that it is in attempt to somehow produce something that disproves everything. I also think gr is simply trying to discredit anyone who doesn't agree with his or her viewpoint.

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Clint Gentry 5 years, 9 months ago

"I choose to believe that it and hence me were created by a higher power." - unite2revoltAll you have to do is "believe", and that's enough for you to operate off of? I will say this again, (as I do in so many of these posts), "faith" or "ungrounded belief" is not a positive attribute to have. It's a lack of intellectual ability wherein this "faith" arises. Are you proud of your ignorance? of your inability to grasp reality? Is staying dumb your main goal in life? Do you really not want to learn what might be different from what you already believe? Question to all you "creationists", What evidence would you need to prove to you, that evolution occurs? Could it ever be proven to you? If it can't, you are less than human in that you refuse to use your brain. If you think that there may be evidence, consult a paleontologist, they may have what you are looking for...

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jonas 5 years, 9 months ago

"jonas, surely you aren't so dishonest as to miss "common ancestor"."Ok, I have no idea what you're trying to say here, could you please tell me what you are trying to mean. I did not miss, or misunderstand, "common ancestor", to the best of my knowledge, so please explain what it is you feel that I missed in my reply, and how that would make me dishonest. Would a "great X 10^13 great grandmother" not be able to be considered a "common ancestor"?"Was I not clear that I got that statement from Berkeley's web site - the one fossilhunter listed?"Am I supposed to care? I'm not on anyone's side in this."Are you saying Berkeley (or fossilhunter) promotes fallacies?"Certainly it's possible. Perhaps they were using wording that they thought was approachable and understandable by lay-people. (layman, not members of the cloth) Maybe they simply hadn't thought about it all the way through. But anyway, the idea was fundamentally correct, only the timeframe was fallacious in its presentation. Why, are you suggesting that fossilhunter or even Berkeley has become the authoritative voice on all of these things? And again, did you figure this out beforehand, or did I have to explain it to you? See, the way I figure is it's one of two possibilities. Either you were just bothered by something about the logic expressed in the original simile offered by Berkeley's definition, and didn't have a way to understand or articulate the problem; or, you had noticed the specific problem beforehand, and threw the whole thing up as an example of. . . something that somehow disproves everything, I guess. Which is it?

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supertrampofkansas 5 years, 9 months ago

"tramp = a red herring." - grThat is what I thought. No substance and a lot of misdirection. Perhaps you should become a lawyer gr considering your gift in the use of rhetorical devices.No response to "fixity of kinds"? No response to the entire geological/fossil records? Only the the reductio ad absurdum, and other "classic" rhetorical devices suggesting that evolution is every bit as much as "just-so story" as creationism is. (I mean how can we miss the "evo-theologians" reference) I see, it is not the grandmother or cousins that has you smirking, it is the reference to a single common ancestor as in from whence did we come that has you foaming at the mouth.

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unite2revolt 5 years, 9 months ago

Well for the record I am a creationist, I simply think that no matter the cause of the universe it was not simply an accidental chain reaction, rather I choose to believe that it and hence me were created by a higher power. This is personally a much more satisfying answer than the idea that life on earth only exists because the planet happens to be the right distance from the sun, with the right amount of the right type of atoms, bonded in the right forms, and the right qualities and quantities that a bacteria was able to culture under those conditions and that all life as we know it was able to survive and adapt through a massive amount of species extinctions after billions of years, a set of conditions so unlikely to reoccur that no other planet in existance would be capable of supporting life yet alone developing its own sentient species, and that we are completely alone in the universe and our lives utterly without meaning, aside from the biologial imperative to reproduce as rapidly and as much as possible, in the hopes that maybe some offspring of our line will be born with an appendage or organ that will allow it to survive the inevitable extinction of our own species, or perhaps create a superior race of psychics capable of enslaving us through mind control.But you can feel free to think what ever you like, just be glad you can think and that you aren't some kind of bacteria which can only react to stimuli, and that you were lucky enough not to have been killed at birth because you were seen as competition to the alpha male.

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gr 5 years, 9 months ago

tramp = a red herring.jonas: "Out of curiosity, do you actually see these fallacies beforehand, when you post them,"jonas, surely you aren't so dishonest as to miss "common ancestor".Was I not clear that I got that statement from Berkeley's web site - the one fossilhunter listed?Are you saying Berkeley (or fossilhunter) promotes fallacies?

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1029 5 years, 9 months ago

Why is it that religious people feel so threatened by the concept of evolution? "Fairy tale"? And Christianity isn't a fairy tale comfort story?Why can't they leave science to the scientists and keep their religion to themselves?Christians are so terrified that their ideology will lose influence in society and that people will have no morals and chaos will ensue. Yet, then they go and make stupid arguments against evolution, global warming, etc. They really aren't helping their cause if they want Christianity to live on in the hearts of future generations. A lot of people don't buy into Christianity because they see people like Bondman talking out of their a** and sadly associate Christianity with stupidity. If people just kept their religion to themselves, society would be a lot better off.

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RedwoodCoast 5 years, 9 months ago

In response to Bondmen's first post: I'm not sure you understand evolution, Bondmen. Things like that are quite easily possible. Just look at the coelacanth, once thought to be extinct. But wait, there are more advanced fish around at the same time! And alligators and crocodiles and sharks! WTF?! How do we explain that?!The bottom line is that 'more primitive' or 'less evolved' does not simply equal 'less successful.' It all depends upon selective pressures and how able the species is to adapt to those changing selective pressures. The species in question obviously was successful for some reason, but then it encountered some sort of new selective pressure that eventually killed them all off.And another mistake people make when discussing evolution is the concept of 'essentialism.' Many mistakenly view evolution as a tree, each branch of which equals a discrete species. But is this the best way to look at it? Do species just pop in and out of existence? Doubtful. Successful species are always adapting to selective pressures. Just look at bison. 12,000 years ago, they were 1/3 larger than modern bison, had a different horn configuration, and are referred to as Bison antiquus. Around 5000 years ago, they had diminished in size, their horn configuration was slightly different, and are referred to as Bison occidentalis. As time went on, individual size among the bison population shrank to its current size and horn configuration. These moder animals are taxonomically classified as Bison bison. When the Pleistocene ended, larger body size became less and less adaptive, resulting in the long-term (really short-term in the grand scheme of things) decrease in bison body size. Bla bla bla.Just pick up some literature and figure it out because I'm pretty certain you don't understand evolution well enough to be trying to tear it apart. So if we go back to the tree, each branch is more like a continuum of change. When we find fossils, the time resolution is usually not fine enough to really place those fossils in any sort of fine-grained continuum. Sometimes two fossils will be found that strongly resemble each other. The lumpers would say that they are representative of variation in one species, while splitters would say that they are distinguishable enough to call different species. Usually, it boils down to the preference of the researcher, but essentialism certainly plays a role in there somewhere.

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jumpin_catfish 5 years, 9 months ago

I evolved from an alien race from the future who seeded my ancestors on this planet many thousands of years ago.

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jonas 5 years, 9 months ago

gr: From Berkeley:"The central idea of biological evolution is that all life on Earth shares a common ancestor, just as you and your cousins share a common grandmother."If you think it's necessary, then I disagree with it. Grandmother implies the standard human timeframe, 3 generations, around 80-100 years, that's ancient. (Well at least by American standards, perhaps) If they had said, say, your great X 10^13 great grandmother, it would maybe be more accurate. As it is, it's pretty much wrong. Does that help? Out of curiosity, do you actually see these fallacies beforehand, when you post them, or is it actually necessary for us to point them out to you? I'm genuinely curious which way it is with you.

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supertrampofkansas 5 years, 9 months ago

"First, creationists don't believe all "species" were created at creation, nor in a fixity of the species." - grRed herring alert. Way to redirect gr. Perhaps maybe you can define what "kinds" mean. It is fixity of "kinds" not species right gr? Care to elaborate on a definition for "kinds"? "Asking why rabbits aren't found in the bottom strata would not bring into question of when they were created but of why they weren't deposited in that strata." -grUh huh and then they could explain why the eucaryotic cells don't appear before procaryotic cells, or the vertebrates before shell-bearing animals , or the mammals before amphibians and reptiles and so on. Of course I suppose a flood event coupled with pigs flying out of arse could make all of this happen but I'm not holding breath."Do you think maybe why various cultures have similar creation and flood stories is because it was handed down rather than handed up to create a Bible?" - grHmmm. Am I misunderstanding what you are saying? I am interpreting this to mean that the bible is based on a number of creation and flood stories handed down (as opposed to being "handed up"?) from other cultures? Huh?Concerning the definition on evolution, I am assuming you are referring the use of "grandmother" or "cousins" to describe evolutionary theory even though they are not meant in the literal sense. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling most evolutionists would probably object to the usage of these terms because they are confusing and misrepresents what happens in evolution.

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gr 5 years, 9 months ago

"theorizes that the water was so shallow that critters like Ventastega had an evolutionary advantage by walking instead of swimming."Hmmm. Had to look that up as, what made waters "shallow"? Seems some desperate persons decided to reinforce their belief system by coming up with all sorts of things. How else would there be a reason to "grow feet"? Supposedly, there was a drying period. Global warming?Seems as of 2003, the 'drying pond' hypothesis had mostly been discarded. Quite interesting that finding a skull, shoulders and part of the pelvis, one knows what the missing feet look like. Did they have five digits or seven or eight? Many digits of a leg for swimming rather than walking? Maybe Daeschler is resurrecting the 'drying pond' hypothesis. Makes one wonder if the "missing link" is that portion of fossils between the skull and the feet."I imagine""Maybe it's""It's more likely"----------------------------No one wants to agree or disagree with the Berkeley statement?

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Das_Ubermime 5 years, 9 months ago

It appears from bondmen's 7:50 post this morning that it is better to cut and paste and fail than to never have cut and pasted at all.Wait... Karl Popper?... Why does that name ring a bell? Perhaps this is him:"I have changed my mind about the testability and logical status of the theory of natural selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a recantation." ("Natural Selection and the Emergence of Mind", Dialectica, 32: 1978, pp. 339-355)

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jonas 5 years, 9 months ago

"But truth seekers should not fear as the wheels are falling off the evolution bus and the sparks clearly seen are igniting a fire which soon enough will consume the dominant paradigm and replace it with a more reliable, accurate and descriptive science."That will also discount creationism, as there is not a shred of evidence to support it, which the critical thinkers of tomorrow will notice just as much as those of today.

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dandelion 5 years, 9 months ago

If a scientist is presented with new evidence then theories change. If a fundamentalist is presented with new evidence that the Bible is not literal history, then he closes his mind and calls the evidence wrong. The Bible is a wonderful book, and teaches one how to live (especially Jesus' teachings), but it is not to be taken literally. God must be laughing at those who can't think abstractly. In fact, if you can't think abstractly, can you truly believe in God? Science is a wonderful way to learn about this wonderful creation that is around us. It is not anti religion.

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gr 5 years, 9 months ago

Errr, change that to: Do you evo-theologians agree with that or do you want to rewrite it?

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gr 5 years, 9 months ago

From Berkeley:"The central idea of biological evolution is that all life on Earth shares a common ancestor, just as you and your cousins share a common grandmother.Through the process of descent with modification, the common ancestor of life on Earth gave rise to the fantastic diversity that we see documented in the fossil record and around us today. Evolution means that we're all distant cousins: humans and oak trees, hummingbirds and whales."Do you evolutionists agree with that or do you want to rewrite it?

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bondmen 5 years, 9 months ago

Evolution believers are not operational or empirical scientists but evo-theologians. Their dogma is neo-Darwinism. They exhibit great faith in their religion's creation story, namely evolution, where they suppose past events followed a molecules to man or goo to zoo to you progression. Evo-theologians dictate and demand followers unswervingly hold to the everything in the universe came from nothing and life from non-life, fantasy. It all would be greatly humorous if it weren't so seriously wrong. Furthermore they aren't happy just swapping evolution stories amongst themselves in the hollow halls of higher learning but they desire to indoctrinate children with their fanciful fables through the government schools. But truth seekers should not fear as the wheels are falling off the evolution bus and the sparks clearly seen are igniting a fire which soon enough will consume the dominant paradigm and replace it with a more reliable, accurate and descriptive science.

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gr 5 years, 9 months ago

pdecell,Love your pictures! Unfortunately, I can't say the same thing about your logic."Even organisms today show structures that are clearly remnants of other structures that have lost or are otherwise loosing their ultility."Interesting you mentioned structures being "lost". Perhaps you could say what losing something has to do with evolving something?"the over all pattern of the fossil record falsifies creationist models based on a literal reading of genesis. After all were all species created at once, why do we not find say rabbits in the bottom strata?"A couple of problems here. First, creationists don't believe all "species" were created at creation, nor in a fixity of the species. "Species" is a human definition and new species are being found, defined, and formed all the time. Second, you are pressing your strata-implying-ages belief system onto creation. Strata is where organisms are usually found. Evolutionists imply it means a relationship of long ages despite finding some in "wrong" strata. If you are talking about creationist models, then you must talk about strata being formed by floods. Asking why rabbits aren't found in the bottom strata would not bring into question of when they were created but of why they weren't deposited in that strata.fossilhunter,In reference to single bone(s), you may want to look at some articles from Discover. They make fanciful drawings of a whole animal from very few fragments.kmat,Something that wasn't brought out regarding your reading of Genesis 2 was,Where'd you get that?! Verse 5: "In the day when the Lord God made earth and heaven there were no plants of the field on the earth, and no grass had come up: for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to do work on the land."How about formless and void? Maybe you then connect it to verse 8. Have you planted a garden? Does that mean you created the plants? Could God have created the plants and then planted/arranged/designed a garden?Come now. Do you think we should believe you when you say the Bible is a "myth" based upon a misrepresentation of a verse?"It is not the word of god, but a combination of various creation stories (every ancient culture had its own creation tales)."Something tells me you also believe global warming caused by man is a fact and supported by random "correlations". Do you think maybe why various cultures have similar creation and flood stories is because it was handed down rather than handed up to create a Bible?Strontius: "The bottom line is, if you don't know what you're talking about, then just don't.""but in science, just because you can't explain something perfectly today doesn't mean that you won't be able to tomorrow with new evidence, techniques, and methods."So, would one conclude: The bottom line is, if you don't know what you're talking about, then you just might be an evolutionist." ;-)

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supertrampofkansas 5 years, 9 months ago

Need my cup o' joe!Corrections: "definitions" not "defintions"also...it would be preverse to withhold provisional consent that the earth would "not" defy...75x55: My apologies for the misunderstanding. I regarded it as more of a generalized commentary on the whole blog rather than one post.

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jonas 5 years, 9 months ago

Strontius (Anonymous) says:"If you're saying evolution is wrong, you're contradicting millions of scientists in every country on the planet in a field where proving something wrong is how you make a name for yourself. I'm not even sure we have a word to describe that level of ignorance and stubbornness."Actually, I think we do. I think it's "fundamentalism."

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75x55 5 years, 9 months ago

Sorry, you missed my reference - perhaps I should quote the piece I was concerned with - which was the immediate post above mine.

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supertrampofkansas 5 years, 9 months ago

"Oh bondmen, it couldn't be that - that doesn't illustrate evidence of primitive thinking." - 75x55Sarcasm (in this case) only works if the meaning is inverse of the situation being referred to. However these posts (especially by bondmen) have nothing to do with primitive thinking but rather uncritical thinking. It is clear than bondmen does not do his own thinking on any of these matters but rather uses the ideas of others to promote his own orthodoxy.Philip Johnson is a lawyer who is either ignorant or purposely avoids any evidence that might go against his beliefs. Johnson misrepresents both evolution and creationism by limiting his arguments to singular or narrow defintions and examples. He uses misdirection to drive his point home (much like what an attorney does in a courtroom). For example, his comment about what Gould was saying about science is grossly out of context and purposely sets up a convenient preemptive strike against any criticism of anyone's non-scientific credentials. All Gould is saying is a fact is something that has been "proven beyond a reasonable doubt". I have no reason to doubt that the earth will rotate and revolve around the sun in the same way it has since the beginning of our existence so that tomorrow I may witness yet another beautiful sunrise (granted that it isn't cloudy). In this case, it would be preverse to withhold provisional consent that the earth would defy all laws of physics and do something entirely different tomorrow. This comment has nothing to do with the qualifications of a person which is how Johnson is trying to portray it.Certainly they are many other examples I could refer to but alas I am afraid that as Das Ubermine implies, this is perhaps a pointless exercise.So I bid everyone a good day. May you always be at peace and happy!

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fossilhunter 5 years, 9 months ago

The author of Darwin on Trial is a lawyer, not a scientist. He creates his own definition of science (a common creationist trick) and changes the definition of "law" and "fact" from their use in science to a courtroom. If interested, here's more: http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/9370_review_of_idarwin_on_trial_12_1_1992.asp

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i_tching 5 years, 9 months ago

The book "Darwin on Trial" has been laughed out of serious consideration, and it has not ruffled the feathers of any real scientists.There have been numerous other relatively recent discoveries of transitional fish-to-tetrapod fossils. This is evidence of evolution.Scientists, at least the secular ones, do not have feathers.

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bondmen 5 years, 9 months ago

The 7:47 post above is gramatically challenged and instead should read:"One of the strongest evidences that the leading dogma of scientific naturalism is based on faith and not on empirical research is the impossibility of falsifying it. Sir Karl Popper's Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge showed the centrality of the possibility of falsification to truly empirical hypotheses, and its impossibility to faith conjectures. Chapter 12 of Johnson's Darwin On Trial ('Science and Pseudoscience') discusses the significance of Popper's distinction between the empirical scientific work of Einstein and the 'pseudoscientific' methodology of Marx and Freud. 'Popper saw that a theory that appears to explain everything actually explains nothing'. And Darwinism, being unfalsifiable, fits into the latter category". From: Creation and Change, Genesis 1.1 - 2.4 In The Light Of Changing Scientific Paradigms, page 38 by Douglas F. Kelly

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bondmen 5 years, 9 months ago

"One of the storngest evidences that the leading dogma of scientific naturalism is based on faith and not on empirical research is the impossibility of falsifying it. Sir Karl Popper's Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge showed the centrality of the possiibility of falsification to truly"One ot the strongest evidences that the leading dogma of scientific naturalism is based on faith and not on empirical research is the impossibility of falsifying it. Sir Karl Popper's Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge showed the centrality of the possibility of falsification to truly empirical hypotheses, and its impossibility to faith conjectures. Chapter 12 of Johnson's Darwin On Trial ('Science and Pseudoscience') discusses the significance of Popper's distinction between the empirical scientific work of Einstein and the 'pseudoscientific' methodology of Marx and Freud. 'Popper saw that a theory that appears to explain everything actually explains nothing'. And Darwinism, being unfalsifiable, fits into the latter category." From Creation and Change, Genesis 1.1 - 2.4 In The Light Of Changing Scientific Paradigms, page 38 by Douglas F. Kelly empirical hypotheses, and its impossibility to faith conjectures. Chapter 12 of Johnson's Darwin On Trial ('Science and Pseudoscience') discusses the significance of Popper's distinction between the empirical scientific work of Einstein and the 'pseudoscientific' methodology of Marx and Freud. 'Popper saw that a theory that appears to explain everything actually explains nothing'. And Darwinism, being unfalsifiable, fits into the latter category." From Creation and Change, Genesis 1.1 - 2.4 In The Light Of Changing Scientific Paradigms, page 38 by Douglas F. Kelly

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jonas 5 years, 9 months ago

Das_Ubermime (Anonymous) says:"Oh come on, jonas. It is not as if you haven't ever verbally poked a wacko just to laugh at their response!"Snrk. . . . Touche.

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Das_Ubermime 5 years, 9 months ago

"Taken together, the two chapters provide a harmonious and more complete picture of the creation events."Except for the fact that it is out of order when compared with the actual history of the Earth. So yeah, it is harmoniously wrong.

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Strontius 5 years, 9 months ago

Well, we're certainly in Kansas. People whose knowledge of evolution that includes little more than sound bites and performance preacher lectures think they know more about biology than Ph.D. scientists. This might be hard to believe if you're coming from a religious perspective, but in science, just because you can't explain something perfectly today doesn't mean that you won't be able to tomorrow with new evidence, techniques, and methods. Evolution is a scientific fact. If evolution was wrong, modern biology wouldn't function. If you're saying evolution is wrong, you're contradicting millions of scientists in every country on the planet in a field where proving something wrong is how you make a name for yourself. I'm not even sure we have a word to describe that level of ignorance and stubbornness. The bottom line is, if you don't know what you're talking about, then just don't.

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75x55 5 years, 9 months ago

Oh bondmen, it couldn't be that - that doesn't illustrate evidence of primitive thinking. ;)

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bondmen 5 years, 9 months ago

Genesis 1 gives the order of events; Genesis 2 provides more content about them. Genesis 2 does not contradict chapter 1, since it does not affirm exactly when God created the animals. He simply says He brought the animals (which He had previously created) to Adam so that he might name them. The focus in chapter 2 is on the naming of events, and chapter 2 gives details. Taken together, the two chapters provide a harmonious and more complete picture of the creation events. The differences, then, can be summarized as follows: Genesis 1 Chronological order; Outline; Creating animals Genesis 2 Topical order; Details; Naming animals

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 9 months ago

I've just now decided that my ashes will be put in a baggie, with a label declaring:"Take my word for it, I am not the most primitive two-legged creature in Earth's history."That should save them some time and money.

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supertrampofkansas 5 years, 9 months ago

For 75x55,Here is a link to the same picture with the skull included in the artist rendition. Not sure why they took the skull out? Or maybe this news agency put the skull in. Who knows.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7473470.stm

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kmat 5 years, 9 months ago

I'll bring up something that got me in trouble when I was young and forced to go to church and read the bible every Sunday. The contradictions in Genesis show that the creation theory is a myth.In chapter 1 (the first creation myth), all vegetation including seed plants and fruit trees is made on the fourth day. All sea creatures and flying birds are made on the fifth day. All land animals from cattle to creeping things are made on the sixth day, and afterward God makes humans-male and female-to rule over these fish, birds, and animals, and to use the plants for food. In chapter 2, Adam comes first "when no plant of the field was yet on the earth." Then plants are created in Eden. Then "out of the ground Yahweh formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air." Finally Eve is made from Adam's rib. So which was it? If the word of the Bible is fact, then why two contradicting stories? For those who study ancient history and texts, we understand that two creation stories were both put in Genesis. It is not the word of god, but a combination of various creation stories (every ancient culture had its own creation tales). It's the same old "I don't understand something so it must be god that did it", just like the Greeks believed lightning was made by Zeus when he was pissed. Same thing with the story of Noah - it's actually the same story told in Gilgamesh.Learn about and understand ancient history, ancient peoples and their lives and you'll understand the bible and that it's a compilation of many ancient myths and some history, not the word of god. It's written by people, just trying to understand the world they lived in with their primitive thinking.

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prospector 5 years, 9 months ago

"There are no missing links in the fossil record."Parkay writes one thing I can agree with, even though I don't think that is a Bible quote.

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Ray Parker 5 years, 9 months ago

Fish only come from other fish. Fish only beget more fish.There are no missing links in the fossil record.(Genesis 1:20-23)

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75x55 5 years, 9 months ago

Not particularly commenting on any of the details here, but I'm curious as to why so many of these 'fossil' articles always show some truly extravagant "artists rendition", and almost never the fossil(s) in question.

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Das_Ubermime 5 years, 9 months ago

Oh come on, jonas. It is not as if you haven't ever verbally poked a wacko just to laugh at their response!

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bondmen 5 years, 9 months ago

"Later in the same article Gould states the real definition of fact under which evolution fits. He begins by saying that fact does not necessarily mean absolute certainty. Then he says, "In science, fact' can only mean confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.'" In other words, evolution is a fact because a majority of scientists say so, and you are "perverse" if you do not agree. We quickly begin to see that evolution holds a privileged place in the scientific community, which will go to extraordinary lengths to preserve that status." http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/darwin.html

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bondmen 5 years, 9 months ago

"Darwin on Trial is the title of a book on evolution that has ruffled the feathers of the secular scientific community. Though a Christian, author Philip Johnson critiques evolutionary theory from a secular standpoint as he examines the philosophical games many scientists play to protect their evolutionary ideology. Johnson, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, attacks head-on the often-heard statement that evolution is both a fact and a theory, an evolutionary dogma that has been a major source of confusion for a long time. Evolution is a fact, Darwinists say, in that they know that evolution has occurred. It is a theory in that they are far from understanding the mechanisms by which evolution has occurred. In the eloquent words of evolutionist Stephen J. Gould,'Evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas which explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away while scientists debate rival theories for explaining them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air pending the outcome. And human beings evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.' There are numerous problems with this explanation. First, if evolution is a fact, then evolution is equivalent to data. This hardly seems appropriate. Second, the comparison of evolution to gravity is misleading. We can go into any apple orchard and observe apples falling from trees. But where do we go to observe humans evolving from apelike ancestors? Apples falling from trees fits into the category of science we can term operations science which utilizes data that are repeatable and observable at any time. Humans evolving from apelike ancestors, however, would fall under the category of origins science. Origins science involves the study of historical events that occur just once and are not repeatable. We can only assemble what evidence we have and construct a plausible scenario, much like the forensic scientist Quincy did in the old television show. The so-called facts of human evolution, by Gould's own definition, are the fossils and the rock layers they are found in. That humans evolved from apelike ancestors is a theory that attempts to explain and interpret these facts.

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BrianR 5 years, 9 months ago

Evolution a "fairy tale?"To the whack jobs it is.

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Erin Parmelee 5 years, 9 months ago

I don't think Bondman knows the definition of "Fairy Tale."

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bondmen 5 years, 9 months ago

My did you guys ever come out from under a sheltered rock about the same time! Hmmm, if only we could reverse the process. I'm honored boys.

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jonas 5 years, 9 months ago

Good lord, guys, it's Bondman! Why are you even bothering? He has his mind made up to follow the path with NO evidence for it at all, and that lack of evidence is precisely the evidence he needs to believe that it is totally true. Just let it go, when he dies he'll find out he was totally mistaken about everything.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

"Thank you for so adroitly explaining evolution to those of us who haven't already fallen for these fairytale stories."Oh, come on, bondmen, all you know about evolution is that the shamans of your favored fairy tale tell you not to believe it. (It cuts down on their fundraising.)

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fossilhunter 5 years, 9 months ago

Bondman - here is an exellent explaination of how evolution really works:http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

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dandelion 5 years, 9 months ago

Fred the creationist opens his Bible and declares the fossils a work of the devil placed here to make us question the validity of the Bible.

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fossilhunter 5 years, 9 months ago

Bondman -Interesting analogy....but factually lacking. Can you give any facts to back that up? I'm not buying the numbers, or that fact that most vertebrate species are named after a single bone. That's not accurate.Your main error is listening to creationists definition of how evolution works, not reality. It's not a perfectly linear progression. It has starts and stops and multiple branches. You can never say "This particular fossil animal right here evolved into a fish 15 generations later." It just doesn't work that way.

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bondmen 5 years, 9 months ago

"Even if we ignore the evolutionist's sleight-of-hand described above, their own words reveal convincingly that the fossil record does not support evolution. Consider the following predictions (or expectations) of the fossil record if evolution were true:1) Gradualism2) Simple to complex3) Clear-cut lineages4) Identifiable common ancestorsNow consider the predictions of the fossil record if special creation is true:1) Sudden appearance2) Fully formed3) StasisAll of the predictions for evolution have failed miserably, while all of the predictions for creation have been overwhelmingly borne out by the evidence. For each of the individual predictions above, it is very easy to find an evolutionist scientist who substantiates the creationist viewpoint for that particular prediction. On the following web page I have provided such substantiations from leading evolutionists. For brevity I have included two quotes for each expectation/prediction:"http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/articles_debates/fossil_record_quotes.htmIn conclusion, there is nothing scientific about evolution. Evolution has attempted to hijack the word science and its lack of evidence tarnishes the ideal of science by misusing the word. You have not observed evolution and you cannot recreate evolution in the lab. What your philosophy has failed to explain is the multitude of complex life found in the Cambrian explosion (http://www.discovery.org/articleFiles/PDFs/Cambrian.pdf), fully formed and functional. This clearly does not fit your evolution story. I admire your great faith however!

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bondmen 5 years, 9 months ago

Tout au contraire pdecell. An analogy:"Image John the evolutionist and Fred the creationist entering a huge 50-story museum filled with all the fossils that have ever been unearthed. The curator of the museum explains that most of the complete fossils are displayed in every single room up to the 50th floor, while the incomplete fossils are kept in a small closet in the basement. The curator tells John and Fred that the fossils throughout the building represent all the invertebrate phyla discovered, literally billions of complete specimens representing millions of different species of complex invertebrate animal life, from clams, to trilobites, to sponges. The curator then tells John & Fred about the small closet in the basement. They are told that the fossils in this small room constitute only .0125% of the fossil record, and most of these are fish. He then adds that the remaining fossils in this small room that aren't fish make up all the remaining vertebrate fossils, 95% of which are represented by less than a single bone.John and Fred scurry through all the evidence throughout the massive building, ignoring that little closet in the basement, realizing that it's the most unrevealing data to look at. As the huge cache of complete fossils is examined, panic soon begins to set in for John the evolutionist because THERE IS NOT A TRACE OF EVOLUTION IN ANY OF THE EVIDENCE! NONE! THERE IS NOT A SINGLE LINK TO THE COMPLEX INVERTEBRATES, AND NOT A SINGLE LINK BETWEEN INVERTEBRATES AND VERTEBRATES! In a total state of panic and defeat, John suddenly remembers something the curator had mentioned. That little closet in the basement! John quickly runs to the basement and opens the door to the small closet. Soon his mind begins whirling, he becomes excited, and before long he has found "evidence" for evolution! These fragments of bones allow John to make all kinds of wild, fanciful speculation. "Hey, this is 'evidence', man!" John gleefully declares. The curator quickly reminds John that many similar past speculations made from observations from this tiny room have long since been refuted. He's reminded of Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, Ramapithecus, Mesonychid, Pikaia, and so on and so forth. But John is so excited about his speculation that he chooses to ignore this very important and revealing truth. John goes on to gleefully tell others that "the fossil record supports evolution", and gives them his "examples" from the closet in the basement. He fails to mention to them that his evidence is from a tiny closet full of incomplete specimens. He also fails to mention that all of the other rooms in the 50-story building contained complete specimens, yet yielded NO sign of evolution whatsoever. He tells his story over and over again, and before long, many begin to share in his fantasy, themselves telling the story to others over and over again. Eventually, their myth emerges as reality to countless unsuspecting listeners."

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Jeff Kilgore 5 years, 9 months ago

The case for evolution is devastatingly clear, no matter whether portions of evidence are lacking. The big questions have been dealt with. Evolution a "fairy tale?" If that's what you want to believe. If you sit back and take a deep breath, it is always possible to reconstruct the physical world to fit your religious views, such as, the sun revolves around the earth, personality lies within blood type, nearly 500 species exhibit homosexual behavior, but humans are higher animals. If you squint really, really hard, you can see that these things are true. In the real world, genetically speaking, apes and humans are more similar than different breeds of dogs. Scientists agreed to separate them just to quell the obvious uproar this would have caused. PD, cool to put your name out there. Check "lose" versus "loose."

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Paul Decelles 5 years, 9 months ago

Barclay,Remember the fossil record is very incomplete so in except in rare cases you are not going to find the sort of continuous versions of a critter laid out neatly, and cases of exactly this sort of thing are known from the fossil record. By the way, the claim that "all fossilized species appear in the strata fully-formed, fully functioning, and not "in transition." is silly. Even organisms today show structures that are clearly remnants of other structures that have lost or are otherwise loosing their ultility.As for bondsman's finding of a curious admission, you see this sort of thing today-where different combinations of primitive vs advanced characteristics exist in organisms today. Of course bondsman doesn't want to admit that the over all pattern of the fossil record falsifies creationist models based on a literal reading of genesis. After all were all species created at once, why do we not find say rabbits in the bottom strata? Ya don't even need radioactive dating to grasp that genesis does not match up with the fossil record, as incomplete as it is.Even 19th century creationists such as Agassiz understood this and had begun to develop notions of multiple creation events. Of course these ideas became so unwieldy that it became clear by the end of the 19th century that these cobbled together explanations made no sense.It's one thing to have faith and believe in creation at some level, but quite another to cling to the notion that a religious text is a science text. Augustine understood this quite well by the way even though he did not understand about evolution.You guys are upset by evolution-Bondsman has alluded to this repeatedly in his critiques of my positions. But guys, think, is the fact that a theory (or for that matter any scientific conclusion) is upsetting to you really an adequate reason to reject the idea?

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bondmen 5 years, 9 months ago

Thank you for so adroitly explaining evolution to those of us who haven't already fallen for these fairytale stories.I merely pointed out a problem the evolutionist quoted in the story mentioned. Namely that there are "older ones that are oddly more advanced". I'll explain. There is fossil evidence of earlier models (evolution speak) to Ventastega which are more advanced, i.e., more evolved (again evolution speak). Either evolution or the evidence is upside down. In other words the older models are suppose to be down deeper while the newer models are suppose to be above, according to evolution speak. Similar instances quite regularly occur in the field with other fossil evidence, much to your chagrin no doubt. As to my grammatical indiscretion, it was before my first cup of java. 'Strata layers' could be considered a humorous redundancy rather than a lack of intelligence. But readers realize you are either humorless or bitter that the foundations of neo-Darwinian religion are crumbling in the face of modern scientific discovery.

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Das_Ubermime 5 years, 9 months ago

"Yet they offer no explanation as to how this might happen. Either their evolution idea is wrong or their dating of the strata layers is wrong or both."The first sentence is either a lie or a inaccuracy resulting from flawed reading comprehension. FTA:"Scientists don't think four-legged creatures are directly evolved from Ventastega. It's more likely that in the family tree of tetrapods, Ventastega is an offshoot branch that eventually died off, not leading to the animals we now know, Ahlberg said."Your next sentence is grammatically incorrect. You are certainly doing a good job of fitting the stereotype that creationists are less educated.

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Barclay 5 years, 9 months ago

This fossil is an apparent evolutionary dead-end because in reality all fossilized species appear in the strata fully-formed, fully functioning, and not "in transition." Seems to me evolution is the pre-supposition, rather letting the fossils speak for themselves. Funny how all fossils can be specifically named and identified. Seems to me that if evolution really occured there would be Ventastega versions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc. appearing in strata. Such is not the case. So, where is the case for evolution?

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bondmen 5 years, 9 months ago

A curious admission: "Ventastega is the most primitive of these transition animals, but there are older ones that are oddly more advanced, said Neil Shubin, professor of biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago, who was not part of the discovery team but helped find Tiktaalik, the fish that was one step earlier in evolution."It's sort of out of sequence in timing," Shubin said of Ventastega."Yet they offer no explanation as to how this might happen. Either their evolution idea is wrong or their dating of the strata layers is wrong or both.

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