Links, Climate Change, and RNA (Unrelated but on my mind)

rnaI look with some amusement at the “debate” raging in my last post between Reginald and Mike. Mike is an expert at wordplay, and I find him frankly not worth arguing with. He is not nearly as dumb as some YECs (Young Earth Creationists), but his reason is by nature flawed under the incredible weight of the very, very obvious. I won’t bother really to argue with him, as he quibbles over the color of the flowers in the forest, somehow managing to ignore the trees that exist all around him. The evidence for evolution has long been irrefutable, and our understanding of it and the gaps within it seem (to my untrained brain) seem to be increasing and filling exponentially.

I, myself, have just undergone an epiphany of sorts, having finally having it beat into my head that man-caused global warming is very much a reality. I was, for many years, deceived. I put too much trust in people pretending to be scientists and pretending to use the scientific method. I was a big proponent of the “Junk Science” website, and, considering myself reasonably scientifically literate, I actually believed the bullshit they slung there.  I guess I am prepared to recognize ignorance, or even deception when one is motivated by faith or by “higher” goals. However, I was unprepared to deal with people who deliberately take good science and distort it, or out-and-out lie about it, for such a base reason. I was naive enough about humanity to believe that no one would put the entire planet at risk for the sake of a few extra dollars in their pocket. They are being deliberately deceptive, and the only motivation I can see for them to be this way is pure greed. If their motivation lies in another direction, I am unable to imagine what it could be. Lying for the sake of religion can be argued as simple ignorance (most of the time).  Lying for the sake of greed, particularly on such an important topic as the earth’s climate, goes beyond loathsome.

Back to developments in biology, Ida is a somewhat significant find, but it is exceptional only in its completeness…it is an exquisitely preserved specimen that fills in a gap in the fossil record, but not nearly as critical a gap as my previous entry implied. (see this video link, which puts Ida into the correct perspective far better than I possibly could.) Reginald’s fossil is more interesting from a human family tree perspective.

Even more important with still insignificant media attention was the synthesis of a critical part of DNA in the laboratory using conditions present on early earth. A part of the RNA molecule has been created in a laboratory. That such a complex molecule could be synthesized from “simple” organic chemicals really goes a long way to smashing many creationist arguments to bits. Not that they will ever acknowledge it as such, however. Life from non-life (abiogenesis) has absolutely nothing to do with evolution, but they have been lumped together in the mind of those who don’t understand the science. Without knowledge of the science behind it, evolution does seem to imply the abiogenesis.

The arguments will merely shift to a new gap, of course. We may, with time, be able to create a functioning cyanobacteria within a test-tube, but I personally doubt that we will be able to go beyond that. The earth itself took billions of years to get beyond that step, so my unscientific guess would be that the next step is far more difficult. A cyanobacteria is still a long way away, and also is still a long way away from a living animal.   It really doesn’t matter.  No amount of evidence can convince one who refuses to be convinced. Nothing is provable beyond unreasonable doubt.

Thus, the battle for the world’s “soul” will rage on. The forces of cultural evolution will continue to shape the battle. Reason will force those with something to lose from truth to battle against it more furiously. In order to survive in a world where truth would destroy them, the fundamentalist will have to deny reality even more vigorously. If this were simply a matter of reason I would have some reason to hope that the YECs would eventually change their mind. However, we are dealing with a mindset that believes that a book written by the hands of men is more to be trusted than reality itself. The more successful the reasonable, the more destructive the unreasonable will have to become in order to maintain their world view. When arguments work less and less, violence, the last resort of the ignorant, is likely to become more prominent. It is only through the blind following of an inflexible philosophy that one man can turn another into a demon. The man without dogma has no reason to fly a plane into a building. A man who refuses to think is easy pray for someone or some thing that has motive to do their thinking for them.

For a while I was feeling guilty with my obsession with religion and creationism, but I’ve come to realize that it really is nothing new.  My first book was going to be about religion.  My first fiction novel with have strong religious elements (coming at it from a decidedly non-Christian perspective, however.)

So, I post without apologies.  This is who I am.  Enjoy, if you can.  :)

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70 thoughts on “Links, Climate Change, and RNA (Unrelated but on my mind)

  1. This is a very timely post, as I have just had a lengthy discussion with another friend about global warming. If the facts are true, we are living in a scary time, and could ourselves be responsible for the destruction of our planet at a rate unheard of in previous times.

    What is the solution? It is too prohibitively expensive for the “little guy” to get on board with alternative energy sources until the “big guys” (i.e. corporations and utility companies) get on board to push development and lower costs. And they appear unlikely to do that, as it will cut into profits in the short term. And the short term is all they are willing to see.

  2. Hi Alphonsus!

    Was just leaving a comment on my whereabouts the past week and a half over at the previous post. Then I noticed you already had a new one. So much for “not nearly as dumb as some,” huh?

    I think it was, even with my naturally flawed reaoning, the big juicy worm Reginald was dangling in the waters up there with his link to “More Gullible Grumbine Science” that got my attention. A more impressive overlap, in my quibbling opinion, exists between evolutionists and the Carbon crowd. That of volume over substance. Each spend far too much time labelling the oposition (anti-science, deniers, right-wing religious fanatics, fundamentalists, etc.), concocting schemes, preparing lawsuits and, in general, cranking the rhetoric up to 11 than they do weighing the existing evidence without pre-supposition.

    That such a complex molecule [RNA]could be synthesized from “simple” organic chemicals really goes a long way to smashing many creationist arguments to bits

    Really? The fact that, after decades of study by innumerable intelligent minds, a single “part” of a single molecule could be “created” (duplicated would be a better term – using existing materials and a full blueprint, mind you) in a controlled environment smash[es] many creationist arguments to bits? Wow, which ones? I must´ve missed ‘em. Maybe I was too busy contemplating how there could be evolution without life; and how there could be life without abiogenesis, from an evolutionary perspective, that is.

    Sorry, just chalk this up to more “wordplay” and toss it aside.

  3. “More Gullible Grumbine Science”

    Is this the same mike who accuses others of making ad hominem attacks?

  4. weighing the existing evidence without pre-supposition

    Without pre-supposition??

    Please don’t pretend to know what my “pre-supositions” are, Mike.

    Evidence is evidence. I was not raised in a religious family, nor was I raised in an atheist family. I was raised believing in evolution, true, because that was what is taught in schools. But I was also taught that Mercury always keeps one face to the sun, and that Columbus was the first to discover America.

    Let me be very clear. I don’t CARE what the truth turns out to be. I only care what the truth IS.

    Global warming. I knew that the scientific community believed it. I didn’t. Why? Because I believed evidence that I was given from a particular website. I did not know that that evidence was based on lies and deliberate distortions. Do I have a “pre-supposition” that to believe in Global Warming? Quite the opposite. My pre-supposition was to doubt it. Only having the overwhelming evidence beaten into my head changed my mind. It was a humbling but very useful experience.

    God? The flood? I don’t CARE if the flood happened. I *want* to believe in God, as I am afraid of my own potential non-existence after death that is implied by His non-existence. The flood would be pretty cool had it actually happened. What difference is it to me if the earth is only 6000 years old?

    But the evidence? Biological, genealogical, paleontological, geological, astrological, hell, every -cal you can think of overwhelmingly points to a very old universe? Would I really CARE if the earth was created 6000 years ago? No. I only care about truth.

    And so why do I take pot-shots at you, Mike? Not because I bear you any ill will, but I really, really don’t understand you. I am not a scientist. I cannot really pretend to be a scientist. But I have come to understand and respect the scientific method. When I tried to take a stand against it with Global Warming I was humiliated. My respect for science has only grown.

    You baldly and cavalierly reject that which every respectable scientist in the world has stated, and yet you claim to care about the truth. What you propose is very, very bad evidence, logical leaps of faith, logical inconsistencies. And what you thus pass on is ignorance.

    By inviting people to accept bad science (yes Mike, it IS bad science–VERY bad science), you invite people to reject truth. Without truth there is ignorance. With ignorance, there comes poverty, bigotry, intolerance, death…everything that I fight with every fiber of my being. Passing on ignorance is morally WRONG, Mike!

    So, I don’t want to believe Reginald when he calls you a liar. But, by whatever reason you do what you do, I feel a moral obligation to fight it. If ignorant, I would hope to enlighten you. If trapped in a Biblical box, I would hope to free you. If a liar, I would hope either to expose you or persuade you to change your ways.

    But Mike, the scientists are the truth finders. I have read and I support their evidence. I have to trust that the built in check-and-balance system of science will provide truthful observations far more often then not, and that science is right on most of the things that I can’t understand. This is not faith, it is trust. I don’t understand all of science, but I do understand the scientific method. The method is sound, and I trust it to produce good results.

    So, Mike, I KNOW that you are wrong. Is there ANYTHING that would convince you? I could easily be convinced to the opposite. One bunny from the Cambrian era, verified by multiple qualified researchers, would cause me to doubt. Throw a cat and a cow in there, and I’d have to say that something was seriously wrong.

    But you reject EVERYTHING published in the peer reviewed scientific literature. I’m sorry Mike, but I have no reason to trust your judgment.

  5. Come on Reg, that was more like ad hominem snark. Dig in deep. You can take it.

    Alphonsus. Quite honestly, I put you in the category you most often put yourself. agnostic. I really had no intention of pigeonholing you into any, nor of displaying any pretence of knowing what your pre-suppositions may or may not be. It was a simple statement of fact. Evolutionists, by definition, filter all physical evidence through a pre-supposed model of belief. As it turns out, Climate Change alarmists do that and worse. I´d love to see the overwhelming evidence that was beaten into your head simply for the sake of reading it myself and researching it and seeing what differing scientific minds have concluded about the same data. And if I found a differing scientific concensus than that of which you have been humiliated by, I would happily partake in an open discussion, as I have been doing here (and welcoming you on my own blog to do the same) for some time on the subject of creation vs. evolution. The only thing I baldly and cavalierly reject are the inconsistencies and biased exagerations of those you claim represent “every respectable scientist in the world” have stated. I also have only the highest respect for the scientific method because of its soundness, and only the deepest disdain for its abuse because of its rampancy. Bias is abuse.

    You and Reginald have labelled me as a “YEC”. I have never even given myself that label. As a matter of fact, on two separate occasions, I gave you a clear idea of what I considered to be some “wiggle room” in the whole age of the actual earth (to which neither of you ever made a reply). However, I do argue against the dogmatic assertions that have been made in support of the evolutionary model, including the total reliance on the accuracy of the radiometric dating methods. Do I argue dogmatically? Yes I do. How else should one argue? Am I a liar? Well, you can believe Reginald, or you can look at my arguements and make your own decisions. If you find any lies, let me know and I´ll attempt to change my ways. If I am ignorant of something I´ll be the first to let you know, but, so far I haven´t been too nonplussed by any of the arguments presented by either of you and I´ve counter-argued, or even upped the anti more than once. Does that mean I´m not a truth finder, because I argue agaist dogmatic assertions? If so, I better check the sun dial to remind myself in which century I´m living.

    Anyway, it´s going on 1am in my part of the world, so I better hit the hay.

    I´d love to throw a rabbit, cat or cow into the Cambrian Extinction Explosion for you, but tiny crustacians and domesticated land mammals don´t believe in mixed swimming. They´re very puritanical that way.

    You´re a very good thinker on your own Al. Don´t let Reggie take full control of the reins. Keep questioning.

  6. tiny crustacians and domesticated land mammals don´t believe in mixed swimming. They´re very puritanical that way.

    It isn’t really a matter of what the land mammals believed, Mike. It doesn’t really matter how puritanical they were. There was, according to you, as world-wide flood. Mixed swimming wasn’t really an option…not subject to “belief.” Those poor bunnies had to learn to swim fast, or they had to drown. They quickly would have done the latter. And, so it seems to me, one of them, just one, should have gotten swept down with all those sea creatures who were also drowning during the flood. We are talking a flood of global scale. They were both alive at the same time. Cambrian creatures were everywhere in the sea. All it takes is one example of mixed swimming. The bunnies had no choice in the matter, after all.

    And allow my good thinking to point something out Mike, that you will have to acknowledge

    You are not a scientist.

    Science isn’t done by dialog, Mike. Not these days. Not between two people the likes of us. We don’t have PhD’s in biology, cosmology, or any -gy that is relevant to this topic.

    We are not, therefore, qualified in doing any original thinking about it.

    We are both smart, Mike. But that’s where humility comes in. We are ignorant, and we have to admit that. We haven’t taken the time to do the schooling necessary to intelligently debate this topic. Call it laziness…call it different priorities–whatever. But smartness will only get one so far without an education.

    We can dialog until the cows come home, Mike. What we come up with won’t make any difference. All we, as non-scientists, can do is refer to the works of those qualified, those who HAVE taken the time, who have made the sacrifice, to add to the general knowledge of the human race.

    Who are we, as non-scientists, to judge the work of scientists? WE ARE NOT QUALIFIED! We don’t have the training to make an intelligent judgment.

    So, what can I do? All I can do is point out that the vast majority of those who ARE qualified to make a judgment on the matter accept evolution as fact. You can say they are doing bad science…you have that right. It’s called free speech. But we have the right not to pay attention to you because you haven’t made the citations to back up your claims.

    Do you really want to change the world? Get your degree in biology or paleontology. Do the ground work. Submit your work to peer review literature. Get yourself published. PROVE YOUR CASE!

    Of course I don’t expect you to do that. Do the next best thing then. Point out others who have proven their cases!

    My point is, either become a scientist and contribute to the research,

    support the scientists who HAVE done the research,

    or get the hell out of their way

    ’cause you ain’t qualified to do anything else.

  7. No, sir, I am not a scientist. Never have claimed or aspired to be one. So, a point I have never had any qualms about acknowledging. I am, however, well acquainted with many (creationist and evolutionist) and married to at least one, that I know of. I also stay quite involved in scientific research. If you punch my full name (Michael John Reinhold) into Google, you should find a number of current papers on Somatic Cell (human and otherwise) Nuclear Transfer on which I am credited for contribution as critical reader.
    Contrary to your opinion, science is, at least in some part, “done by dialog.” That is basically what the peer review process is all about. One scientist, typically trained in a highly specialized area, submits his research to other scientists trained in that area for them to pick it over and discuss that which is valid and that which is not; that which has been researched and that which has not. That, my friend, is dialog. And, I might add, it is not done in any heretofore undiscovered language. Typically it is done in english; very understandable english. English the likes of even you and me (smart, humble, ignorant, lazy, unschooled, dialoguing slobs) can read and understand. It is, thankfully, not necessary to actually do the work in order to understand the work. Much as it is not necessary to be a mathemetician in order to be able to do math. The evidence is there, presented in an understandable way, in an understandable language for all to read and, yes, understand! And, when the very understandable physical evidence doesn´t seem to fit the hypothesis, you don´t just continue to force a square peg into a round hole; you discard the hypothesis and go with another with more credibility. Evolution is an, as of yet, unsubstantiated hypothesis. You can call it a fact until you´re blue in the face, that doesn´t make it a fact. At some point the evidence and the “facts” must agree. If a non-scientist like me can easily poke holes in the flimsy “evidence” scientists with an evolutionist bent (a.k.a. bias) attempt to slip by us under the guise of intelligent judgement…well…let´s just say it doesn´t speak well of said scientist´s intelligence or judgement.

    Facts are provable, Alphonsus, evolution is not. Don´t mock me for believing in a credible history “written by the hands of men” while you abjectly bow to words written by the ancestors of those same men in attempt to distort that very history.

  8. Please note, Mike, that I said “Not by the likes of us” when I said that science isn’t done by dialog. Dialog between two intelligent, learned amateurs isn’t where science is done these days. Without the proper education, amateurs are very likely to make amateur mistakes. Just because we know the basics does not give us the right to question the professionals. I took Advanced Calculus and Probability and Statistics in college. I know more about math then many of the great mathematicians of the past. Yes, I can do math. Am I, thus, in anyway qualified to critique the paper of a mathematician? Of course not!

    Yes, scientists communicate in language that we understand. We can understand their arguments, to an extent. But can you honestly say that you can walk into a university and pass a test on evolutionary biology at the Masters level, let alone the Doctoral? Astrophysics? Chemistry? Might it just be possible that somewhere in the lack of knowledge that we possess to pass these tests might be something that we would need to intelligently debate the people who HAVE passed the tests?

    The physical evidence doesn’t seem to support the hypothesis? Everything I’ve read indicates that it does. Point to your citations. I do not accept your viewpoints. Without citations or science, you have opinion. What are you basing your opinion on? Without the credentials to back it up, you have unqualified opinion. You have said nothing to demonstrate that your opinion is more sensible than that of the scientists. It is my opinion that your opinions are very flawed at a fundamental level. My opinion, however, doesn’t matter. Your opinions stand contrary to the consensus of the vast majority of the scientific world. You have a series of bald-face statements which also stand contrary to the vast majority of the scientific world. You make these claims based on your opinions, and I have no reason to value your opinions. You haven’t the credentials, the logic, nor the citations to support them.

    Science is made of facts, Mike. Evolution is based on facts. Evolution has been proven to scientists beyond reasonable doubt for 150 years. It is only in your unqualified opinion that it has not. And I don’t bow to the words written by the ancestors of the same men who wrote the Bible. I accept evidence and facts as presented by these men. The Bible is not a scientific journal. It is, at best, a work of eyewitness accounts for which there could be no possible witness. Without the Bible, no one, NO ONE, would even SUGGEST the possibility of a world wide flood as being the reason for, well, anything. The facts just aren’t there.

  9. Come on Reg, that was more like ad hominem snark. Dig in deep. You can take it.

    The point is not whether or not I can take it, the point is that the world knows you as a flaming hypocrite.

  10. The point is not whether or not I can take it

    No. It´s quite clear you can´t.

    the world knows you as a flaming hypocrite

    The world? Wow. If you (Reginald) can´t take a little tongue-in-cheek jab after your constant stream of personal attacks, then just consider me as answering a fool according to his folly; ok? ;-)
    The funny thing is, you´ve come up with as many legitimate labels for me as you have legitimate proof of evolution: ZERO
    Every example you´ve given has been easily refutable as nowhere near conclusive at best, and only shows the, shall we say, lackluster “evidence” available to evolutionists in the geological record. Thus, the sensationalizing of every massive conclusion they (you) jump to in order to continue forcing their hypothesis down an unwitting public´s collective throat in order to keep the interest up and the grant $$ flowin’ in.
    Your type of rage against those who don´t blindly accept whatever evolutionists (you) spout (or cut and paste in your case), albeit prevelant, is quite revealing of the character and motivation behind the desperation, and, quite honestly, just not a very good sales technique. It´s no wonder, even with the massive publicity and virtual stranglehold evolutionism enjoys in the U.S. schools and institutes, they can´t even win over half the nation. And, please, if you´re gonna argue that, try something newer than what amounts to Obama´s “cling[ing] to guns or religion” spiel. Very old; very tired.

    Alphonsus – I did note your “Not between two people the likes of us ” fragment. However, I think I clearly distinguished among the scientific method, the peer review process and the dialog we have been having by my wording. As I said, I am not a scientist, but I am fully capable of reading and understanding the results of the research done by scientists (in a number of areas, and to a capable degree, including many of which are most often accompanied by hot debate concerning the relevance of their claims to the evolutionary hypotheses. And I couldn´t disagree with you more strongly on our supposed lack of a “right to question the professionals.” It is almost always when the research results leave the labratory and hit the “marketplace” that their validity and practicality is truly tested.
    I find it interesting, to say the least, that you and Reginald both continue to attempt to put the ball in my court where it concerns providing evidence to back up my claims, as this most recent post of yours, as well as the comments here and under 2 or 3 of your previous posts, stems from my innitial challenge to you (or anyone else) to back up your evolutionist claims with hard physical evidence. Since that time I have poked numerous holes in every piece of data you have “presented” as such. That while allowing my attention to be diverted down a couple of rabbit trails you two have wandered. And you accuse me of wordplay! Good one.
    Oh, a sidenote to Reg: Since Alphonsus relies almost entirely on you for his misinformation on evolution (oops, there´s that flaming hypocrisy again), perhaps you could, instead of just cutting and pasting articles or blurbs from articles or links to articles as your sole form of argumentation, maybe once in a while, between the name-calling and various insults and accusations you make, you could actually opine with some clarity on the particular part of the respective paper you´re attempting to use to support your argument. I realize here, and in your other forums, you´re used to firing from cover and scampering back into the bushes to hide, but that´s really no way to hold a civilized dialog. I believe it´s also unnecessarily harshened the tone of the entire conversation. Thanks in advance.
    Science is made of facts…Evolution is based on facts
    No; actually science is made of the knowledge of the facts. There is some difference. Facts don´t change. Knowledge of them does. Evolutionism is based on a continued attempt to force the known facts to fit an as of yet unsubstantiated hypothesis.
    The Bible is a scientific journal, of sorts, my friend. It has assisted in the understanding of our earth´s history, geography, geology, cultures, peoples, etc. for centuries. To discount it as you seem to be doing is a shame on someone who claims to only seek knowledge of the facts as you do.
    P.S. Sorry I couldn´t respond sooner. I had another of my multi-hour lost sessions here on Friday and just couldn´t get back to it until today.

  11. Okay. Well, you see, between Reg and I, (mostly Reg), we’ve given you quite a bit of evidence for evolution. Evidence which is, in our eyes at least, pretty convincing. You’ve rejected all of it. Zero evidence, you say. Ummm…right. So, if you are rejecting our evidence, it kinda behooves you to explain your reasoning why it’s bad evidence, doesn’t it? Or else, it’s kinda like our saying 2+2=4 and having you say, no, it isn’t, and not giving us any reasons why. So, the ball kinda does fall in your court, you see. You have to come up with evidence to back your claims as to why our claims are false.

    Else, you know, we could keep giving you evidence, and you will keep saying, “No, that’s not evidence. You’ve given me zero evidence.” And, well, that’s kinda hard to debate, you know. It’s kinda like saying that you win no matter what because you say so.

    And you never really have said what evidence you WOULD accept. You know? Kinda give us a hint?

    And please, I get my facts about evolution from many different sources. Reg is great at finding specific examples, but, frankly, evidence for evolution is not at all hard to find on the Internets. Lots of lots of lots of good websites out there. Lots of lots of lots of good websites pwning the two big creationist websites, Answers in Genesis and the Discovery Institute.

    And dialog is kinda a two way street. I’m not really sure that our providing example after example and you coming back and saying, “No, you’re wrong,” really constitutes dialog.

    So, by my standards, I long ago met your requirement to come up with a single transitional species. Reg has come up with dozens more. More are found all the time, and hundreds are known about. You simply reject them all. Oh well. Hard to really score any points on you, given your rules, isn’t it?

    And the Bible is a scientific journal of sorts? Ummm…yeah, right. I’m pretty sure that you won’t have a hard time finding people who write scientific journals would debate that. For example, some have argued that the Bible describes a spherical earth in Job 26:10, Isaiah 40:21-22 and Proverbs 8:27. All of these are rather hotly debated by critical thinkers, but let’s put that aside for a moment. Even if we stipulate that the Bible DOES say the earth is a sphere, it does it in a rather round-about way, doesn’t it (no pun intended, but I’ll take any pun I can get)? I mean, how hard would it have been to say that the earth is a ball and it circles the sun, which is umpteen times bigger. I’m pretty sure an good scientific journal writer could have gotten that point across using bronze age terminology in a way that was unequivocal and clear. I mean, what was written never really took, did it, and it certainly wasn’t because the material wasn’t being read? Many, many scholars read over those passages and didn’t walk away from the pages thinking, “Gee, the Earth is a sphere and it’s not the center of the universe,” did they? These references are at best vague, and, more realistically, simply reflecting the no-shame-associated-with-it theory of the structure of the universe at the time.

    So, Mike, I guess if you’ve rejected everything we’ve given you thus far, and you say that we’ve given you nothing of value, and you won’t tell us what WOULD be of value to you, then there really isn’t any point in continuing this “discussion”. As much as I’d like to keep piling the incontrovertible evidence at your feet in the hopes that you will accept the reason of educated scholars, that doesn’t seem to be likely at this point, not unless you are willing to tell us your scientifically-backed reasons for rejection. ‘Cause otherwise, this is a kinda unfair, no-win scenario for anyone, you see.

    So, let’s try to focus. I submit Ida as my example of a transitional species. It meets all the criteria by scientific standards, even though it WAS a bit over-hyped. You wrote a poem-ish thing about it on your website, but there weren’t any real arguments there. Now, I’d like to hear your arguments as to why it isn’t a transitional species. I’d really like you to use peer reviewed scientific journal articles in your argument, but as you won’t be able to do that, just give us your qualified opinion.

  12. Yes. I agree. It is good to focus. Although, other than replying to distractions offered here, I´ve stayed pretty much on theme thus far. I realize it all gets a little muddled when there´s really no concrete evidence (much less proof) to offer on the part of the evolutionist, and what ends up happening is rapid-fire article links/name calling/labelling and other forms of avoidance without any opportunity for debate or even dialog, much less consensus.

    I have clearly stated numerous times and in numerous ways what evidence I would accept as “proof” of the “fact” of the progression of life as we know it today from nothing according to evolutionary theory. However, for the sake of clarity, what I am looking for is the same kind of evidence there is, in abundance, for the distinct genus, species, etc. groupings we find all throghout the geological record of life on this planet, as we know it, to have come into existance, as we see it today. It´s quite simple, really; if there was a gradual evolution (hell, even a “punctuated equilibrium”) over billions and billions of years that brought us to where we are today, it would be as clearly visible in the fossil record as are the distinctions (with very rare and highly explainable frequency) we find in the aforementioned abundance we do today. And by clearly visible, I mean by, at least, the thousands, if not millions or billions of representatives of clearly “transitional” forms. The fact that we have a totally insignificant number (0?) of highly questionable, at best, fossils that could even be considered possible representatives of such is, really, a sick joke and a sad testament to a theory of life with such high aspirations.

    But, I digress (wordplay?).

    As I haven´t been around trying to scrounge up evidence of a hypothesis that, in all reality, doesn´t mean a thing to anyone even if it did, somehow, turn out to be true (evolution, in case you´re wondering), no new peer reviewed research has jumped out at me concerning little Ida. Perhaps you know of some(?).

    In the meantime, here´s an opinion piece by Chris Beard on Why Ida fossil is not the missing link.

  13. Sorry. A correction.

    By And by clearly visible, I mean by, at least, the thousands, if not millions or billions of representatives of clearly “transitional” forms.
    I meant to write, And by clearly visible, I mean by, at least, there should be thousands, if not millions or billions of representatives of clearly “transitional” forms.

  14. Every example you´ve given has been easily refutable…

    I invite the readers to draw their own conclusions as to how successful mike has been in his refutations.

    Your type of rage against those who don´t blindly accept whatever evolutionists (you) spout (or cut and paste in your case), albeit prevelant, is quite revealing of the character..

    I invite the reader to draw their own conclusion as to who is raging.

    I believe it´s also unnecessarily harshened the tone of the entire conversation.

    This from someone who makes fun of peoples names.

    I meant to write, And by clearly visible, I mean by, at least, there should be thousands, if not millions or billions of representatives of clearly “transitional” forms.

    And I recommended a book, Evolution: what the fossils say and why it matters by Donal R. Prothero. It is filled with information about transitional fossils. Prothero takes on all the Creationist claims about the fossil record. Gradual fossils? Examples presented, along with an explanation about why these particular fossils are a good candidate to show gradual transitions. Cambrian “explosion”? Explained, along with a summary of how long the “explosion” took, and a description of Precambrian fossil fauna. Major transitions? Presented, including dinosaurs to birds, and reptiles to mammals. Lots of coverage of the mammalian dispersion, because this is Prothero’s specialty. Primates to hominids – covered. Grand canyon – covered.

    Meanwhile, if Creationism were true, how many “transitional” fossils would we expect to find? Approximately zero.

    As for a single convincing transition fossil, I’ll stick with Archaeopteryx. It was first published in 1861, and there are over 10 excellent specimens (12 in all, I think, but I’m sure you wouldn’t be impressed by the single feather)

    Your counter-arguments are not even meaningful – that it might not be a direct line ancestor to modern birds. So what? In the evolutionary (i.e. scientific) view, those fossil organisms had parents, and grandparents – they had entire lines of descent. And it would not violate any part of evolution to suppose that they had “cousins” – related species that were on the direct line of descent for modern birds. it is Creationism, not evolution, which supposes that organisms appeared out of nothing.

    In the meantime, here´s an opinion piece by Chris Beard on Why Ida fossil is not the missing link.

    If you want commentary that Ida, while a very nice fossil, is vastly overhyped, and that scientists roll their eyes when they hear the phrase “missing link,” look no further than my first comment on Alphonsus’ Ida post.

    no new peer reviewed research has jumped out at me concerning little Ida. Perhaps you know of some(?).

    What? The first scientific publication about the fossil was just last month. Are you asking for follow-up articles already?

  15. I have clearly stated numerous times and in numerous ways what evidence I would accept as “proof” of the “fact” of the progression of life as we know it today from nothing according to evolutionary theory.

    From nothing? that is what Creationism claims, not what evolution claims. Evolution requires all living things to have a an evolutionary history.

    The fact that we have a totally insignificant number (0?) of highly questionable, at best, fossils that could even be considered possible representatives of such is, really, a sick joke and a sad testament to a theory of life with such high aspirations.

    There are at least tens of thousands of transitional fossils accepted by professional paleontologists. That you don’t find them acceptable, even though you don’t mind at all about the radiation and heat problems with the RATE study conclusions is only a testament to your inconsistency of standards.

  16. Okay, Mike. I concede Ida. Good work.

    Ummm…wait. Let me think about that. Ummm…

    Well, actually, I really can’t concede her, can I? I mean, she still may be a transitional form, can’t she? At least that’s what the opinion suggests. She’s just not directly on the human lineage.

    And, um, well, it does seem a bit odd to me that you would use an opinion that says that Ida is not of human lineage that uses evolutionary arguments to demonstrate it. Aren’t you arguing that evolution doesn’t happen at all? So, isn’t that kind of like disputing that desserts don’t exist by arguing that something is a German chocolate cake rather than a triple chocolate layer cake? You may win a point for being right in a sense, but you lose several million points for disproving your initial premise.

    I mean, a transitional fossil doesn’t have to be a human fossil. Humans are just another kind of animal/ape after all. Lots of other animals out there, and they all have transitions too. The transitions from a wolf-like animal to whale is particularly well documented.

    But our mysterious Reg is probably a real scientist of sorts, and he wants to put the Archaeopteryx out there as a nice transitional species. I’ll go with that, just because there isn’t a lot known about Ida yet.

    And (I’m really doing my own thinking here, honest!) I too have noted the rather grotesque inconsistency with your being so willing to accept the RATE study (which is rather damning in terms of accelerated decay not being a tenable theory) but so adamant about refusing to accept clear transitional species. Sorry, Mike. You are really going to have to come up with a better justification as to why you accept this study. It just doesn’t make sense to me. I mean, it kills every living thing on the planet, for Christ’s sake. I know God doesn’t have any major qualms about doing that kind of thing, but still, ya gotta have SOME animals left to incestuously and fatally interbreed via a method of super-evolution to repopulate and increase diversity on the entire planet afterward.

    And, I know you don’t claim to be an YEC, but, honestly, if you accept the flood as a real event, that rather firmly pigeon holes you into a recent time period for creation–particularly if the Bible is of Scientific Journal grade. I mean, there is a rather clear biblical lineage from Adam down to Noah, and even from Noah to Jesus (yes, there are alternate and contradictory ways of getting from King David to Joseph, which is kinda pointless anyway as Joseph was clearly not Jesus’s dad, but let’s not quibble over details). No matter how you stretch it, there really isn’t all that many years to work with. Not more than 10,000 or so. Unless you are willing to say the earth is a least a billion years old, I’d have to call you a YEC.

    The only wiggle room that people have taken is in the first seven days. I suppose you could argue that the first seven days took longer than seven days, but that kinda goes against the concept of the Sabbath, which has a rather strict seven day cycle. And if the first seven days are symbolic of days as we know them, then who the heck is to say what else is symbolic in the Bible. Symbolism flies in the face of Biblical literalism. And if I were to take something out of the Bible as just being symbolic, the next thing I’d take out is that darn flood, which is right next to the creation as being the second most scientifically impossible thing in the good book.

    I’m sorry. I digress. I withdraw Ida as being too new and thus unfair. Let’s stick with Reg’s Archaeopteryx. Tried and true and argued about for 150 years.

    Until next time.

  17. So, inquiring about whether or not Reginald is your real name is considered making fun? Or is it the use of common abbreviations or nicknames generally associated with the name Reginald that hurts your feelings? I know Alphonsus isn´t really Alphonsus´ name and Reginald Selkirk, frankly, looks like a pseudonym, so I questioned it. My apologies. I should learn to be more sensitive.

    I´m always amazed when hear evolutionists still hanging on to Archaeopteryx. Let´s see, the deeper they dig, the more they find, so, even according to evolutionary dating assumptions, they´re far too old to have been doing any transitioning. But, you won´t catch me arguing that it wasn´t “a direct line ancestor to modern birds,” because I´m just gonna argue with the rest of the scientific world; that it was a bird. You know, the kind with fully developed and functional wings and feathers like we see today. Oh, but it had teeth. Well so did other birds. But it has fingers on its wings. So do other birds. And, you´re mistaken; I am impressed by the single feather. Wanna know why? Because it´s a feather! It´s not a “sceather.” And there´s not a single trace of evidence to show us how a reptile´s scales could have evolved into a bird´s feathers. Nor how a leg evolved into a wing. Wherever you find a fossil of a flying creature, that´s just what you find; a creature that could fly! Not one that was transitioning into something that maybe one day some distant cousin of his could use to adapt himself to becoming airborne. So, as far as convincing transition fossils go, yeah, I´d say Archie – sorry, don´t want to make fun of his name – Archaeopteryx is about as convincing a one as evolutionists have to offer. Not very.

    There are a few bits and pieces I´ll just comment on briefly:

    I offered the Chris Beard piece in lieu of a peer-reviewed piece, particularly because Alphonsus requested that I include peer-reviewed scientific journal articles for any of my argumentation and I, like Reginald, realized it would be much too early for any follow-up articles to have been published. I wasn´t arguing for evolution Alphonsus, I was just giving you something “in the meantime” from one of your own fellow evolutionists that declared, in Chris´ words:

    …Ida is not a “missing link” – at least not between anthropoids and more primitive primates. Further study may reveal [Ed. or may not. bold mine] her to be a missing link between other species of Eocene adapiforms, but this hardly solidifies her status as the “eighth wonder of the world”.

    From nothing? that is what Creationism claims, not what evolution claims. Evolution requires all living things to have a an evolutionary history.

    Not what evolution claims. Well, according to evolutionism, what evolves if not living things? Could there be evolution of life without living things? I realize evolutionists vehemently attempt to deny any connection between abiogenesis and evolutionary theory, however, there is no logical way around the fact that life did, at some point in your theoretical evolutionary history, come from nothing.

    tens of thousands of transitional fossils

    Ok, let´s go through the list one at a time and critique them. Can´t evaluate anything by the “tens of thousands” at a time.

    You guys´ll have to show me where I ever said I “don’t mind at all about the radiation and heat problems with the RATE study conclusions.” I think you´ll have a hard time finding that I did though. Or anything like it, really.

    No matter how you stretch it, there really isn’t all that many years to work with. Not more than 10,000 or so.

    No need for geneology tweaking, scrubbing the Sabbath or accepting symbolism over literalism. I believe there´s substantial linguistic and contextual justification in the Bible for the theory that the actual earth (remember it was formless and void and covered in water for some reason?) to have been in existance for a period of time before the actual 7 days of creation took place. Look into it sometime. It´s called The Gap Theory (since you didn´t feel inclined to go back and find the previous two times i´ve referenced it). I´m sure it´ll give you guys a good laugh.

  18. Not much time this morning to comment. I’ve done a quick look into the gap theory. The first three sites I looked at were religious sites that indicate why the theory contradicts scripture. I have no idea why you’d think we’d make fun of a missing sentence/paragraph/chapter/book of the bible that would conveniently help explain virtually everything that science has shown, and could very easily have given the Bible scientific journal status had it been written. Come on, Mike. Doesn’t the gap theory seem to be grasping at straws just a little bit, even to you? Doesn’t it feel even a little like an act of desperation in order to make the Bible fit just a bit better with the known age of the earth?

    There are lots of other Biblical gaps that could have quashed a lot of scientific doubts had they been adequately filled in. How did species repopulate the earth after the flood without the lack of genetic variability necessary to survive? How did all the plants survive in the first place after the flood?

    Curious observation: God survives in the gaps of scientific knowledge in the real world, and science survives in the gaps in the scripture of the Biblical world. God and religion seem to rely on ignorance for their very existence.

    Gotta go. Later.

  19. I referred to it as The Gap Theory simply for your initial convenience. I actually think it´s an unfortunate choice of words, for reasons exemplified by what you´ve stated as your first impression. There is no missing sentence/paragraph/chapter/book. The term “gap” was coined as a reference to a gap of time that existed between the creation of the original earth (Genesis 1:1), at which time Satan was also created (reference Ezekiel 28: 12-13; Isaiah 14: 12-15), and the subsequent fall of Satan (between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2) and the earth´s chaotic (formless and void) condition as a result of a judgement on the original creation. I suppose the term also, in some part, has to do with a gap in the information that is disclosed to us concerning that time period.
    A more accurate term would be The Restitution View (or Theory if you prefer), as the Earth was restored (Genesis 1:3) as home for mankind and animals.
    I am neither grasping at straws nor desperate to make the Bible fit anything, or anything fit the Bible. I arrived at my undestanding of this in a way completely unrelated to my interest in the creation vs. evolution debate. However, I did at some point realize that most “YEC”s reject The Restitution view and began to take more of an interest in just how it could be helpful in rectifying a problematic situation.

    A far cry, though, from helping “explain virtually everything that science has shown.” What it does do is give a plausible explanation for the results of some of the dating methods. What it does not do is give any credence to the theory that life evolved; something science has failed quite miserably on its own at showing.

  20. So, inquiring about whether or not Reginald is your real name is considered making fun?

    No, I was referring to this:
    “More Gullible Grumbine Science”

  21. Let’s review what Mike wants.

    He wants to tout the Bible as “a scientific journal, of sorts“, and cite it by chapter and verse, but he doesn’t want to be pegged as a religionist.

    He wants to put forward the RATE studies as a legitimate scientific enterprise, but does not want to be pegged as a Young Earth Creationist.

    He wants to put forward the RATE studies, but he is not willing to defend it from criticism.

    He wants to put forward someone like John Baumgardner as a scientific authority, but when it is pointed out that Baumgardner has no experience in the field of geochronology and that the record of scientific publication which is used to justify his status as a real scientist all supports real science, i.e. an old earth at odds with his RATE work; mike dismisses this as ad hominem argumentation.

    He wants to be deferred to as the ultimate authority on all fossil matters, although he has no training and no publications as a paleontologist.

    Professional paleontologists recognize thousand to millions of transitional fossils (is that meant to refer to specimens, or species?), and yet mike says humbug to it all.
    Wikipedia list of transtional fossils
    Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ at Talk.Origins
    Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters by Donald R. Prothero, ISBN-13: 978-0231139625

  22. The Bible is a scientific journal, of sorts, my friend. It has assisted in the understanding of our earth´s history, geography, geology, cultures, peoples, etc. for centuries. To discount it as you seem to be doing is a shame on someone who claims to only seek knowledge of the facts as you do.

    Scientific publications are subject to correction and revision as our scientific knowledge base expands. I could name instances of science books published in the last 5 years or so which contain “facts” which have been overturned by additional studies. Are you sure this is what you want to claim for the Bible?

    Science I have learned from the Bible: bats are a type of fowl, insects have four legs, rabbits chew their cud, and you can breed animals with stripes by putting sticks in their watering trough.

  23. You guys´ll have to show me where I ever said I “don’t mind at all about the radiation and heat problems with the RATE study conclusions.” I think you´ll have a hard time finding that I did though. Or anything like it, really.

    What mike has said about the RATE studies:

    concerning RATE, i simply offered it as evidence that the geological timescale evolutionists swear by is by no means set in stone (ok, pun kind of intended). the RATE team also discounts the “gap” theory, which not all “bible literalists” do.

    review it, criticize it, say what you will, but you can´t discount the fact that these guys are doing valid research (and causing quite a stir) just because it goes against the accepted scientific dogma.

  24. Ya got it backwards, stud. I wrote it like this: More Gullible Grumbine Science (not that your rendition isn´t the more accurate). Ironically, your entire “what Mike wants” rant follows the same pattern of that deceptively small, but timely contrast between HOW REGINALD SEES THINGS and HOW THINGS REALLY ARE.

    Well done!

  25. I´m always amazed when hear evolutionists still hanging on to Archaeopteryx. Let´s see, the deeper they dig, the more they find, so, even according to evolutionary dating assumptions, they´re far too old to have been doing any transitioning. But, you won´t catch me arguing that it wasn´t “a direct line ancestor to modern birds,” because I´m just gonna argue with the rest of the scientific world; that it was a bird. You know, the kind with fully developed and functional wings and feathers like we see today. Oh, but it had teeth. Well so did other birds. But it has fingers on its wings. So do other birds. And, you´re mistaken; I am impressed by the single feather. Wanna know why? Because it´s a feather! It´s not a “sceather.” And there´s not a single trace of evidence to show us how a reptile´s scales could have evolved into a bird´s feathers. Nor how a leg evolved into a wing. Wherever you find a fossil of a flying creature, that´s just what you find; a creature that could fly! Not one that was transitioning into something that maybe one day some distant cousin of his could use to adapt himself to becoming airborne.

    Evolution does not take place in the lifetime of an individual. It takes multiple generations. The “transition” label thus must be appied after the fact, when we know what came after.

    So, as far as convincing transition fossils go, yeah, I´d say Archie – sorry, don´t want to make fun of his name – Archaeopteryx is about as convincing a one as evolutionists have to offer. Not very.

    Let’s see, so Archaeopteryx has the bird-like features of a wishbone, wings, and well-developed flight feathers. It also has dinosaur-like features in its long bony tail, it’s teeth and its feet. So mike chooses to put it in box B instead of box A, and poo-poos the transitional nature of the fossils. He ignores the fact that it shares saurian traits with its dinosaur forebears, and that the bird-like features pre-date modern birds.

    As for his “sceather” comment, many dinosaur fossils with feathers and proto-feathers have now been found, many of them quite recently in China. mike fails to acknowledge that feathers might have originally evolved for some non-flight purpose, such as warmth, and then been exapted for use in flight at a later time.

    For a more complete compilation of the bird-like and dinosaur-like fatures of Archaeopteryx: All About Archaeopteryx by Chris Nedin at Talk.Origins
    to quickly list some of the reptilian features described there:
    Premaxilla and maxilla are not horn-covered.
    Trunk region vertebra are free.
    Bones are pneumatic.
    Pubic shafts with a plate-like, and slightly angled transverse cross-section
    Cerebral hemispheres elongate, slender and cerebellum is situated behind the mid-brain and doesn’t overlap it from behind or press down on it.
    Neck attaches to skull from the rear as in dinosaurs not from below as in modern birds.
    Center of cervical vertebrae have simple concave articular facets.
    Long bony tail with many free vertebrae up to tip (no pygostyle).
    Premaxilla and maxilla bones bear teeth.
    Ribs slender, without joints or uncinate processes and do not articulate with the sternum.
    Pelvic girdle and femur joint is archosaurian rather than avian (except for the backward pointing pubis as mentioned above).
    The Sacrum (the vertebrae developed for the attachment of pelvic girdle) occupies 6 vertebra.
    Metacarpals (hand) free (except 3rd metacarpal), wrist hand joint flexible.
    Nasal opening far forward, separated from the eye by a large preorbital fenestra (hole).
    Deltoid ridge of the humerus faces anteriorly as do the radial and ulnar condyles.
    Claws on 3 unfused digits.
    The fibula is equal in length to the tibia in the leg.
    Metatarsals (foot bones) free.
    Gastralia present.

    That’s an awful lot of non-bird-like characteristics to sweep under the rug.

  26. Ooh! And thanks for proving that I never did actually say anything resembling I “don’t mind at all about the radiation and heat problems with the RATE study conclusions.” As well as finally discovering how long ago I mentioned my bent toward a belief in “The Gap Theory.”

    Again. Well done! Keep up the good work. Hey, while you´re at it, maybe you can copy all the names you´ve called me and insults you´ve hurled in my direction and paste ‘em over here. I, for one, don´t like to snivel over that little stuff, but, since you´re already rooting through the older posts for my previous statements…

  27. I was wondering if you´d try to introduce the Liaoning feathered (snicker) dino finds. Even better. Proto-feathers? Please. Connective tissue fibers deep under the skin. Check your Journal of Morphology articles closer.
    And, if you´ll check your quick list from that 10 year old (updated 7 years ago) TalkOrigins article of features Archaeopteryx shares with reptiles a little more thoroughly, you´ll find that quite a number of those same features are also present, to one degree or another, in numerous modern day birds, as well as fossils of other extinct species. If you want to compile a good list, make one of all those transitional creatures that show a part of the mechanism necessary to change scales into feathers or reptilian lungs into an avian lungs.

  28. I, for one, don´t like to snivel over that little stuff…

    It’s obvious that you’ve forgotten all about it. Do remember that when I have called you a liar, I have listed the evidence for doing so.

  29. Proto-feathers? Please. Connective tissue fibers deep under the skin…

    mike, the uber-expert of all paleontology (without ever having published in the field) chooses to accept one controversial hypothesis without noting how little support it has in the field, and how many “feathered” dinosaur fossils have been found in the last decade or so. If it supports his pre-drawn conclusions, that’s good enough for him.

    One prominent article promoting that hypothesis is:
    A new Chinese specimen indicates that ‘protofeathers’ in the Early Cretaceous theropod dinosaur Sinosauropteryx are degraded collagen fibres
    Lingham-Soliar T, Feduccia, A, Wang, XL
    PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
    V 274 No 1620 pp 1823-1829, AUG 7 2007
    DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.0352

    That article has been cited 8 times since its publication. Citing articles include:

    A new scenario for the evolutionary origin of hair, feather, and avian scales
    Dhouailly D
    JOURNAL OF ANATOMY V 214 No 4, pp 587-606 Apr 2009
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2008.01041.x

    and

    The early evolution of feathers: fossil evidence from Cretaceous amber of France
    Perrichot V, Marion L, Neraudeau D, Vuulo R, Tafforeau P
    PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES V 275 No 1639 pp 1197-1202 May 22, 2008
    DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0003
    From the abstract:
    “Here we report fossil evidence of an intermediate and critical stage in the incremental evolution of feathers which has been predicted by developmental theories but hitherto undocumented by evidence from both the recent and the fossil records.”

    Besides, even on modern birds, not all feathers are exclusively for flight. A variety of feather types contribute to insulation, coloration, etc.

    This is only six months old:
    Dinosaur fossil reveals creature of a different feather
    New view is first evidence of feather type before only theorized

    So is this:
    New Feathered Dinosaur Found; Adds to Bird-Dino Theory
    The fossil provides new clues about how feathers, wings, and flight progressively appeared among theropods, along with evidence that certain types of feathered dinosaurs decreased in stature even as their forelimbs became elongated.

    mike’s general form of argument, “X hasn’t been discovered yet,” is an argument from ignorance. As scientific knowledge builds, more and more gaps, not fewer, will be filled.

  30. Hey, good for you Reginald! You went and looked it up. Of course, if it´s peer-reviewed evidence against what you want to believe and it came from “Liar Mike,” naturally it must be relegated to “one controversial hypothsis.” I mean, you´d rather focus on the important new discoveries like Beipiaosaurus with his porcupine quills EBFFs around his head and tail that must have given a second-cousin-once-removed of his dreams of soaring through the skys. Surely brought on by his jealousy that Archaeopteryx was more evolved than he in spite of the fact that Archaeopteryx was 20 million years older. Cursed bird!

    Hey, if you wanted to talk about Xu´s “clues”, why didn´t you bring up his famously featherless feathered fossil, GIGANTORAPTOR?!?!?! I like talking about it just cuz the name is so cool. ‘Ol Xu´s living the evolutionist dream, man. He found his little gravy train niche, eh? Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, keep the grant $$ rollin’….

    Hey, exactly what form of argument is “X hasn’t been discovered yet?” It just looks like an out of context statement to me; and one I´ve never even used. And how do you fill in fewer gaps than have already been filled? I suppose since, in the case of evolution, all the gaps are hypothetical anyway, you can fill them and unfill them at will.

    I may leave you two alone to tickle each other´s tummies for a little bit. I´ve got some serious work to get done evolving my apartment into a better one so I can sell it for more money. I can´t just it´s a transitional form and get grant money for it, ya know?

    Ta, for now.

  31. Surely brought on by his jealousy that Archaeopteryx was more evolved than he in spite of the fact that Archaeopteryx was 20 million years older. Cursed bird!

    Do you understand that a trait could persist in one species even when a different trait appears in a new, descendant species? For example, members of a wolf species could maintain their bite strength even after other members of the species were domesticated, resulting in the eventual development of dogs, most of whom have far weaker bite strength?

    Hey, exactly what form of argument is “X hasn’t been discovered yet?”

    You don’t recognize an argument you use all the time? “There is currently no data (wrong) or theory (wrong) on the evolution of feathers from scales, therefore God did it.

  32. I mean, you´d rather focus on the important new discoveries…

    As opposed to mike, who, having found an argument that suits his pre-drawn conclusions, will stick with it no matter how it fares in the scientific marketplace.

    Ol Xu´s living the evolutionist dream, man. He found his little gravy train niche, eh? Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, keep the grant $$ rollin’,

    It’s a good thing mike abhors personal attacks, or he would have really let loose on poor Xu.

  33. Tianyulong – a fuzzy dinosaur that makes the origin of feathers fuzzier
    March 18, 2009 1:00 PM, by Ed Yong
    …discovered by Chinese scientists led by Xiao-Ting Zheng, who named their new discovery Tianyulong confuciusi… Its small, agile body, about the size of a cat, was covered in long, hollow filaments that closely resemble the primitive “proto-feathers” (or colloquially, “dinofuzz”) of other dinosaurs…
    Reference: Zheng, X., You, H., Xu, X., & Dong, Z. (2009). An Early Cretaceous heterodontosaurid dinosaur with filamentous integumentary structures Nature, 458 (7236), 333-336 DOI: 10.1038/nature07856

  34. Don’t forget that the fossil record is only one of several lines of evidence for evolution:

    Evolutionary relationships among copies of feather beta (β) keratin genes from several avian orders
    Travis C. Glenn, Jeffrey O. French, Traci J. Heincelman, Kenneth L. Jones and Roger H. Sawyer
    Integrative and Comparative Biology, doi:10.1093/icb/icn061
    Synopsis: The feather beta (β) keratins of the white leghorn chicken (order Galliformes, Gallus gallus domesticus) are the products of a multigene family that includes claw, feather, feather-like, and scale genes (Presland et al. 1989a). Here we characterize the feather β-keratin genes in additional bird species. We designed primers for polymerase chain reactions (PCR) using sequences available from chicken, cloned the resulting amplicons to isolate individual copies, and sequenced multiple clones from each PCR reaction for which we obtained amplicons of the expected size. Feather β-keratins of 18 species from eight avian orders demonstrate DNA sequence variation within and among taxa, even in the protein-coding regions of the genes. Phylogenies of these data suggest that Galliformes (fowl-like birds), Psittaciformes (parrots), and possibly Falconiformes (birds of prey) existed as separate lineages before duplication of the feather β-keratin gene began in Ciconiiformes (herons, storks, and allies), Gruiformes (cranes, rails, and allies), and Piciformes (woodpeckers and allies). Sequences from single species of Coraciiformes (kingfishers) and Columbiformes (pigeons) are monophyletic and strikingly divergent, suggesting feather β-keratin genes in these birds also diverged after these species last shared a common ancestor with the other taxa investigated. Overall, these data demonstrate considerable variation in this structural protein in the relatively recent history of birds, and raise questions concerning the origin and homology of claw, feather-like, and scale β-keratins of birds and the reptilian β-keratins.

    Note their focus is on assigning taxonomy for existing species of birds, but this same approach could be applied to elucidate the most likely form of keratin from which the feather genes. And it is not necessarily the body scales.

    By the way, birds are proposed to have evolved from dinosaurs, probably theropods, and their relation to the ancestors of living species of scaled reptiles such as lizards and snakes is even more distant.

  35. New Fossil Tells How Piranhas Got Their Teeth
    ScienceDaily (June 26, 2009) — How did piranhas — the legendary freshwater fish with the razor bite — get their telltale teeth? Researchers from Argentina, the United States and Venezuela have uncovered the jawbone of a striking transitional fossil that sheds light on this question. Named Megapiranha paranensis, this previously unknown fossil fish bridges the evolutionary gap between flesh-eating piranhas and their plant-eating cousins.

  36. And, if you´ll check your quick list from that 10 year old (updated 7 years ago) TalkOrigins article…

    Yes, that article is getting a bit old. And what has happend since? an additional fossil, reported in 2005, has exceptionally well-preserved feet. Feet with a hyperextendible second toe, which links it to dinosaurs; specifically deinonychosaurs.

    Contrary to all previous reconstructions of Archaeopteryx, the hind toe of the new specimen is not completely reversed to form a “perching” foot as it is in modern birds…

  37. Primate fossil discovered in Myanmar

    BANGKOK, Thailand – Fossils recently discovered in Myanmar could prove that the common ancestors of humans, monkeys and apes evolved from primates in Asia, rather than Africa, researchers contend in a study released Wednesday.

    The pieces of 38 million-year-old jawbones and teeth

    I don’t think the fossil is old enough to establish what they want it to, but nevertheless it is interesting.

  38. Hey, kitchen´s coming along. Refrigerator enclosure is basically done. Going to check out a lead tonight on a tile store we heard is nice. We´re thinking natural stone.

    Anywho…had a couple spare minutes to check out all these notices I keep getting about the comments over here.

    So. We´ve still got dino fuzz, but this time it doesn´t come from those theropods all you evolutionists kept swearing were the real transitional deal. Well, well, well. Back to the old drawingboard, eh? No, literally, because they had to draw up these little cuties to make it more bird-like and convincing for us unedumacated folk.

    We´ve got bird taxonomy, which, somehow shows that, well, we can try to elucidate how to force the presupposition that birds evolved from dinosaurs into a model that simply doesn´t have the evidence to back up that very presupposition. As, somehow, if any or all dinosaurs had “fuzzy parts” that would magically prove that one evolved into the other. Once again, the thousands of fossil examples showing a distinction between bird and dino have more sway than the, what, four or so that show evidence of fuzz.

    We´ve got Piranhas with teeth, but, apparently an article that lacked them, as I couldn´t even find it in PubMed. Bummer.

    And we´ve got more fossils that really don´t show anything that my mind can comprehend even look remotely like proof of anything but fossils of the same types of things we always find in fossil beds. A new species here, a new one there. But a glaring lack of millions of dead transitional fossils between species. Shocking. Simply shocking. Is that denial? Or is it just looking at so-called evidence that doesn´t match the magnitude of the claim?

    Come on Reginald. Open a blog. Post your claims. Open yourself up to criticism (some might call that peer review). At least then it´s not just you posting links and me commenting on them with Alphonsus poking his head in every once in a while to mock me see if we´re getting along.

    Come on sport. You can do it!

  39. We´ve got Piranhas with teeth, but, apparently an article that lacked them, as I couldn´t even find it in PubMed. Bummer.

    mike lacks decent search skills, therefore evolution is false. Sheez.

    Megapiranha paranensis, a New Genus and Species of Serrasalmidae (Characiformes, Teleostei) from the Upper Miocene of Argentina
    Alberto Luis Cione, Wasila M. Dahdul, John G. Lundberg, and Antonio Machado-Allison
    Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(2):350-358. 2009
    doi: 10.1671/039.029.0221

  40. We´ve got bird taxonomy, which, somehow shows that, well, we can try to elucidate how to force the presupposition that birds evolved from dinosaurs into a model that simply doesn´t have the evidence to back up that very presupposition.

    Big yawn. Show me a modern bird with a long bony tail. Or have the honesty to admit that you can’t.

    And we´ve got more fossils that really don´t show anything that my mind can comprehend…

    mike is unable to comprehend, therefore evolution is false.

  41. But a glaring lack of millions of dead transitional fossils between species. Shocking.

    This is an utterly dishonest argument. You know that any fossil which is identified is going to be assigned a genus and species.

  42. As for your quest for personal revenge: get over it, or discuss it with your therapist.

  43. I find it interesting that you take the act of criticism from an opposing viewpoint as a “quest for personal revenge.” Very interesting indeed. Perhaps it is not I who should be seeking therapy.

    Oh, and it´s not any lack of search skills on my part. The article is easy enough to find. My point was that it isn´t in PubMed. I believe, wait, let me just scroll up, yup, that´s what I wrote. Therefore, it may as well have been published in my wife´s home village journal in Alfarp, Valencia (pop. 1236). Not that that alone discredits it. It just brings to mind criticisms coming from your direction about the validity of certain journals that you don´t consider in the upper eschalon of peer-review, and, thus, unworthy of your descent to their level of inferiority.

    If you do look into the therapy, you may want to begin by talking about your transference issues that keep cropping up here.

    There´s nothing dishonest about pointing out the gaping holes in the relatively miniscule fraction of the fossil record that some evolutionists like to refer to as “transitional forms.” When you draw a line you can clearly see that it connects point a to point b. If your point a is a dinosaur (pick whatever one is the latest rage) and your point b is a bird (an actual feathered flying creature), well, the only thing clear from the fossil record thus far is, even hypothetically theorizing, you ain´t got no line, man. Well, unless you´re counting that veritable rainbow of hypotheticals that presupposes points a and b are actually connected evolutionists have chased into existance. But even rainbows aren´t as bent as the logic behind your theories.

  44. There´s nothing dishonest about pointing out the gaping holes in the relatively miniscule fraction of the fossil record that some evolutionists like to refer to as “transitional forms.”

    Yes there is, if in doing so you try to claim that there are no interspecies fossils, when as routine practice fossils are assigned genus and species.

  45. …as routine practice fossils are assigned genus and species

    Aaaah, yes, routine indeed. That it is, matey. And, Oh, how those terms have themselves “evolved.” Ol’ Linnaeus probably still rolls over in his grave every time a simple variation is conveniently declared a new genus/species at every naturalist´s whim.

    Therin lies the true dishonesty.

  46. Yet more hominid fossils discovered

    Ethiopian scientists said Tuesday that they have discovered hominid fossil fragments dating from between 3.5 million and 3.8 million years ago

    Ethiopian archeologist Yohannes Haile Selassie said the find, which included several complete jaws and one partial skeleton, came from the Afar desert at Woranso-Mille, near where the famous fossil skeleton known as Lucy was found in 1974.

  47. the oldest-known member of the human family tree

    The media hype surrounding the “Ardi” unveiling reveals as honest an assessment as was given Ida: viz., not honest at all.

    Drawing conclusions based on digital reconstructions from the horribly deteriorated chunks of bone left scattered about by 36 odd different individuals and making the giant assumption that, with its greatly divergent big toes, it walked upright. This is untestable presupposition, at (its) best.

    Seems evolutionary scientists are doing lately (well, especially lately) just what the Nobel committee is culpable of this past week; assigning rock star status to rather routine individuals in the hopes of giving themselves some kind of significance in the face of increasing irrelevance.

    Forget principles (in this case good science), just keep hyping the agenda.

  48. Oh, it’s mike again, back to spread more humbug. He must be a real pill at Christmas time.

    Fossil Bones Of Smallest Dinosaur On Display
    The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has made big news with a tiny discovery: The smallest dinosaur ever found in North America. Its little fossils were found in the late 1970s in Colorado, but because of the huge backlog of bones they just went on display. This “tinosaur” was about 4 inches tall, 2 feet long and weighed under 2 pounds…

    Geologist Analyzes Earliest Shell-covered Fossil Animals
    The fossil remains of some of the first animals with shells, ocean-dwelling creatures that measure a few centimeters in length and date to about 520 million years ago, provide a window on evolution at this time, according to scientists. Their research indicates that these animals were larger than previously thought…

    520 million years? Must be a mistake. surely they meant 6000 years.

  49. Huge dinosaur find in China ‘may include new species’
    BEIJING — Paleontologists in east China may have discovered the remains of a new species of dinosaur at what is said to be the world’s largest group of fossilised dinosaur bones, state media said Wednesday.

    Scientists in Zhucheng city, Shandong province, have for months been exploring a gully over 500 metres (1,650 feet) long and 26 metres deep that is strewn with thousands of dinosaur bones, the Jilu Evening News said…

  50. Scientists: New dinosaur species found in SAfrica

    Aardonyx celestae… This is a species “that no one has seen before and one that has a very significant position in the family tree of dinosaurs,” said Australian paleontologist Adam Yates.

    “The discovery of Aardonyx helps to fill a marked gap in our knowledge of sauropod evolution, showing how a primarily two-legged animal could start to acquire the specific features necessary for a life spent on all-fours,” said Paul Barrett,…

  51. I just hate to be the one to bring this up, but how y’all feelin’ ’bout that whole integrity of peer-review issue these days? To say nothing of the WARMTHERS involved in exposing – better, being exposed in – the massive bias and discrimination that takes place in the scientific community. Yeah, but I´m sure that´s just an isolated instance. Would never happen in any other area of “science” dominated by a particular worldview. Nah, impossible.

  52. http://mediamatters.org/research/200911240017

    The massive “scandal” here is the result of cherry-picking and quote mining…pretty much what one can expect of Global Warming or Evolution denialists. Even if this evidence were as damning as the denialists claim it to be, which it isn’t, it would have no effect whatsoever on the truth of evolution. Evolution is universally supported across multiple disciplines using multiple lines of evidence. The only place for a massive conspiracy to hide the “truth” of our origins would be within reality itself.

    The evidence for global warming is very, very strong, despite this false scandal. I think there would be few scientists who wouldn’t agree that the evidence for evolution is several orders of magnitude stronger.

  53. “Hide the decline” and “Quick, delete these files before somebody catches on” and “HOLY CRAP WHY CAN’T I GET THIS DATA TO SAY WHAT WE NEED IT TO SAY IN ORDER TO KEEP OUR JOBS” aren’t exactly what I´d call a “false scandal.” Neither are “We need to keep these guys out of peer-reviewed journals” and “Let’s get this editor fired for publishing an article that disagrees with us.” But, yeah, I´m the denialist.

    The evidence for global warming is very, very strong, despite this false scandal. I think there would be few scientists who wouldn’t agree that the evidence for evolution is several orders of magnitude stronger.

    Forget cherry-picking; we´d have to be adept dumpster divers in order to get at the “very, very strong” evidence for global – snicker – warming (BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!).

    Sorry, I shouldn´t be so insensitive about this. Just because it proves the point I´ve been making here for many months doesn´t give me the right to gloat……….Who am I kidding; of course it does! You and Reginald with your high and mighty opinions of any “scientist” who concurs with your world view and your unshakable perception of the *infallible* peer-review process are both being exposed for what they are; susceptible to every human frailty as every other “ism” under the sun.

    I think there would be few scientists who wouldn’t agree that the evidence for evolution is several orders of magnitude stronger.

    Forgive me for being entirely (and even more than usual) unimpressed with what any collection of “scientists” promoting whatever particular world view you happen to subscribe to agree on behind closed doors.

    Cheers! And good to finally hear from you again!

  54. Two videos about the stolen e-mails.

    and

    This is from the excellent series called, “Climate Denialist Crock of the Week.” It’s the series of videos that finally changed my mind about global warming.

  55. So cute how you keep trying to emphasize the importance of the emails being “stolen.” As if that´s ever really been a factor in the reporting of news. The New York Times was culpable of printing leaked Top Secret infromation that put the lives of our soldiers in jeopardy, but “Andy” (as he´s known to his buddies at CRU) Revkin claims the same won´t report on Climategate because the emails “were never intended for the public eye.” There´s the “crock” of the century for ya.

    When you´re ready to graduate from having your mind changed by information from the likes of Peter (aka YouTube´s Greenman3610) “I´ve attended an Al Gore workshop in Nashville so I´m qualified to comment” to actual climate scientists you might want to go here or here. And if you´re so into YouTube videos for your scientific information, here´s one with some actual data.

  56. Another ancient bird fossil from China
    Longicrusavis houi… adds to the magnificent diversity of ancient birds, many of them sporting teeth, wing claws, and long bony tails, that recently have been unearthed from northeastern China,” said Luis Chiappe, a co-author of the study.
    Along with a bird described five years ago, Longicrusavis provides evidence for a new, specialized group of small birds that diversified during the Early Cretaceous between about 130 and 120 million years ago…

  57. Relax. It´s just for fun, and only cuz it´s been a while. I mean, I coulda brought up the slow, pitiful demise of climate changeology, or its own Guru Gore´s penchant for releasing his chakra on unwitting masseuses, or some of the other dirty little family secrets we´ve been exposed to over the last few months…but, I´m far too evolved for such trivialities.

    Cheers “Alph!” Cheers “Reg!” Sorry your theories don´t hold water.

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