Author Topic: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is  (Read 11603 times)

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Offline Lithp

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2012, 06:35:31 pm »
Irreducible complexity is just another term creationists misuse. An irreducibly complex system isn't one that could not have evolved, it is a system that no longer functions when any part of it is removed. However, that system could have been different in past ancestors, with extra parts, missing parts, or modified parts that did other things.

Offline Vene

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2012, 07:59:39 pm »
Ok,
Not to spoil the party but...
...   could we post more solid info about evolution please.
http://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0670020532

ETA: Unless you have a more specific question

Offline Auri-El

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2012, 09:03:50 am »
I have some questions! Okay, background: I'm taking the complaints about my geology class to people who can do something about it, per yours and a trusted professor's advice. the last thing I want is to be dismissed as a silly girl because I didn't do my research. So I'm doing research, and I thought it would also be good to ask for help here, since there are a lot of people here who know a lot about science and evolution.

Okay, most of what he's said I've found easy enough to disprove in the notes I'm taking to the meeting. Just a couple of questions here (and I apologize if this is the wrong place for it). One, what's the deal with the "missing links"? He said that Darwin himself said that if we don't fill in the gaps, then the theory is wrong. I've not read "Origin of Species" and I don't have time to read it before the meeting, so I don't know if that quote is taken out of context or if it's even true. But there are missing links in the fossil records, no? If so, how is that explained?

Two, what's up with Gould's hypothesis of punctuated equilibrium? I had never heard of it before (not saying much) but it seems like conjecture rather than science, based on what the dude said in class.

Three, he claims there was more oxygen in the atmosphere way back when, and that's why dinosaurs got so big. That sounds very Hovind-esque to me, but I have no idea whether it's true and what the evidence is.

Again, I am doing research on my own, I'm not trying to be all "do my work for me!!!wah!!" I'm just hoping for some insight from people who obviously know more about dealing with these issues. Okay then.

Offline Yla

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2012, 10:50:24 am »
Whenever such a "missing link" is discovered, it is usually labeled a new species (species being an entirely human-invented concept). Some fundies/other people who don't understand this like to claim that because of this, there are no "true" "missing links", i.e. transition stages between species.
That said, I've stopped trying to anticipate what people around here want a while ago, I've found it makes things smoother.
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Offline Vene

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2012, 11:03:04 am »
I have some questions! Okay, background: I'm taking the complaints about my geology class to people who can do something about it, per yours and a trusted professor's advice. the last thing I want is to be dismissed as a silly girl because I didn't do my research. So I'm doing research, and I thought it would also be good to ask for help here, since there are a lot of people here who know a lot about science and evolution.

Okay, most of what he's said I've found easy enough to disprove in the notes I'm taking to the meeting. Just a couple of questions here (and I apologize if this is the wrong place for it). One, what's the deal with the "missing links"? He said that Darwin himself said that if we don't fill in the gaps, then the theory is wrong. I've not read "Origin of Species" and I don't have time to read it before the meeting, so I don't know if that quote is taken out of context or if it's even true. But there are missing links in the fossil records, no? If so, how is that explained?
At the time Darwin published, they had no transitional fossils and a prediction of his theory is their would be some discovered. Shortly afterwards (two years later) there was a major discovery, Archaeopteryx. Archaeopteryx has characteristics of both modern day birds and modern day reptiles. Actually, without the feathers its skeleton looks like that of a reptile. More recently, another major fossil has been found, Tiktaalik. Tiktaalik is between a fish and an amphibian. It has some fish anatomy like scales and gills, but also some amphibian anatomy like a neck and a flat snout. Its forelimbs are also a cross between the fins of a fish and forelimbs of a terrestrial animal.

There have been a plethora of other transitional fossils discovered, but there are still gaps (and will always be gaps). Part of the reason is due to the rarity of fossilization. Fossilization requires extraordinary events, one of which is that the body of the organism is not consumed by another organism. This is why most fossils are of sea life, they fall in the sediment and are quickly buried. Soft tissue also does not fossilize, which is why most of the fossils discovered are things like vertebrates and trees. Another reason is more abstract. When Archaeopteryx was found, there was a gap between birds and reptiles, but after its discovery we have two gaps; one between birds and Archaeopteryx and one between reptiles and Archaeopteryx. But, this is okay as far as the theory is concerned as even the existence of a single transitional fossil validates the theory.

Quote
Two, what's up with Gould's hypothesis of punctuated equilibrium? I had never heard of it before (not saying much) but it seems like conjecture rather than science, based on what the dude said in class.
Gould was a paleontologist, so he worked with geologic time scales. As a result, it looked like new forms of species appeared very rapidly after a significant period of not change. As such, this theory on evolution was that species were stable for a long period of time, but changed very rapidly when the environment shifts. But, this is not the case if we look at genes. Looking at genes shows a regular and slow rate of change, in other words gradualism. In reality, both are useful theories and which one is appropriate depends on the time scale in question.

Quote
Three, he claims there was more oxygen in the atmosphere way back when, and that's why dinosaurs got so big. That sounds very Hovind-esque to me, but I have no idea whether it's true and what the evidence is.
This is a Hovindism and incredibly stupid, in part because there were still very many small animals at the time (including dinosaurs). If this was the case, we'd see a much greater range of sizes for the dinosaurs discovered. This claim is used to suggest dinosaurs were nothing more than big lizards, but this fails even if the oxygen thing was legit. We can look at the anatomy of both dinosaurs and modern lizards (as well as fossilized lizards) and see some major differences. One such difference is their legs and hips. Lizards walk with their legs splayed out past their sides. Dinosaurs walked much more like us with their legs directly underneath their bodies. The pictures I linked to should help illustrate the difference. As a result, the idea is incoherent.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 11:55:38 am by Vene »

Offline Auri-El

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2012, 11:26:25 am »
Awesome, that's very helpful! I love learning new things. I don't know very much about a lot of things, but when someone who's supposed to be a scientist claims that "virus" is a species, I do know that means he's an idiot. I can't believe he said half the things he did. He even pointed out during lecture that dinosaurs are not giant lizards, then he goes and basically says "but they're giant lizards."

Offline Vene

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2012, 11:55:33 am »
Anybody who says that "virus" is a species does not know biology. Granted, I'd also say anybody who says evolution is false doesn't know biology.

Offline rosenewock21

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2012, 12:00:59 pm »
Quote
Three, he claims there was more oxygen in the atmosphere way back when, and that's why dinosaurs got so big. That sounds very Hovind-esque to me, but I have no idea whether it's true and what the evidence is.
This is a Hovindism and incredibly stupid, in part because there were still very many small animals at the time (including dinosaurs). If this was the case, we'd see a much greater range of sizes for the dinosaurs discovered. This claim is used to suggest dinosaurs were nothing more than big lizards, but this fails even if the oxygen thing was legit. We can look at the anatomy of both dinosaurs and modern lizards (as well as fossilized lizards) and see some major differences. One such difference is their legs and hips. Lizards walk with their legs splayed out past their sides. Dinosaurs walked much more like us with their legs directly underneath their bodies. The pictures I linked to should help illustrate the difference. As a result, the idea is incoherent.
[/quote]

Indulge me, won't you?

I've seen things on both the History Channel and Animal Planet claiming that higher oxygen levels were responsible for gigantic insects. One was, I believe, about lesser known prehistoric animals and had someone explaining how insects can only grow so large under our current oxygen levels before they can no longer sustain growth.

Any truth to this or is it more pseudo-science from the people who brought us "Jurassic Fight Club" and "Lost Tapes"?
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Lithp and Vene really need to have some kind of confusing sexual encounter where Vene spends the entire session lovingly insulting Lithp's technique, then cums on his face, ruffles his hair, says, "You're all right, kid!", and then punches him in the nuts.

Offline Vene

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2012, 12:19:12 pm »
Quote
Three, he claims there was more oxygen in the atmosphere way back when, and that's why dinosaurs got so big. That sounds very Hovind-esque to me, but I have no idea whether it's true and what the evidence is.
This is a Hovindism and incredibly stupid, in part because there were still very many small animals at the time (including dinosaurs). If this was the case, we'd see a much greater range of sizes for the dinosaurs discovered. This claim is used to suggest dinosaurs were nothing more than big lizards, but this fails even if the oxygen thing was legit. We can look at the anatomy of both dinosaurs and modern lizards (as well as fossilized lizards) and see some major differences. One such difference is their legs and hips. Lizards walk with their legs splayed out past their sides. Dinosaurs walked much more like us with their legs directly underneath their bodies. The pictures I linked to should help illustrate the difference. As a result, the idea is incoherent.

Indulge me, won't you?

I've seen things on both the History Channel and Animal Planet claiming that higher oxygen levels were responsible for gigantic insects. One was, I believe, about lesser known prehistoric animals and had someone explaining how insects can only grow so large under our current oxygen levels before they can no longer sustain growth.

Any truth to this or is it more pseudo-science from the people who brought us "Jurassic Fight Club" and "Lost Tapes"?
There does seem to be some truth with insects, at least.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-10/aps-gim100706.php

But, insect physiology is very much different than vertebrate physiology and while oxygen may be limiting for them, I'm not sure that it is limiting for reptiles. Either way, people like Hovind use it to claim that dinosaurs are just really big lizards and to deny dinosaur biodiversity. It's much easier to convince people that the brachiosaurus fossil is just a really, really big lizard than to tell them the fossil isn't real.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 07:16:32 pm by Oriet »

Offline rosenewock21

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2012, 12:36:50 pm »
Much thanks, Vene.

Hovind amuses me to no end. My seven year old will tell you that most dinosaurs were around the size of a pony and that a T-Rex is closer to a chicken than a komodo dragon. If a seven year old can do that, you'd think any adult with limited internet access could do the same.
Matthew 22:39 "And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." God's own "don't be a dick" rule.

Lithp and Vene really need to have some kind of confusing sexual encounter where Vene spends the entire session lovingly insulting Lithp's technique, then cums on his face, ruffles his hair, says, "You're all right, kid!", and then punches him in the nuts.

Offline Lithp

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2012, 09:18:10 pm »
I'm not sure about oxygen, but reptiles (which dinosaurs were not) are limited by the amount of heat they can get. Prime example, snakes get bigger the closer you get to the equator. The reason I say I'm not sure about oxygen is because the equator is also rich in that, so it could very well be a factor. It's why you get larger insects near the equator, that's for sure. I mention this because there WERE legitimate giant reptiles back then, so that's not TOTAL bullshit, the problem is that not EVERYTHING back then was a giant reptile.

I'm not exactly sure why megafauna declined, but the ones we have left could be good examples. Elephants are going extinct due to habitat destruction & poaching. If a lot of forest died as a result of the mass extinction, then the large grazing dinosaurs would have went with it, if they went with it, so would the larger carnivores

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2012, 10:22:25 pm »
but reptiles (which dinosaurs were not)

Dinosaurs are classed as reptiles. The misconception is that they were lizards, mostly stemming from the etymology behind the order's name (Dinosaur means "Terrible Lizard") and outdated hypotheses.
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Offline Lithp

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2012, 10:33:31 pm »
Fair enough. What I'm really trying to get at here is that they're very close to birds & probably warm blooded. So if you think of "modern reptiles," IE snakes, lizards, turtles, etc., dinosaurs are not going to follow most of those rules. Which explains why I keep forgetting they're technically considered reptiles, but in any case, it's highly unlikely they'd be misidentified lizards. If anything, the lizard label would be the more likely misidentification, as it was when Iquanadon was first discovered.

Offline Vene

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2012, 10:41:32 pm »
Birds are totally reptiles now.

Offline Lithp

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Re: Crash Course in Evolution and What It Is
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2012, 10:51:08 pm »
Are they, or are you just messing with me?