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Thread: Can Evolution Prove Through Fossils That There Was A Gradual Development?!

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    Can Evolution Prove Through Fossils That There Was A Gradual Development?!

    I want to know if anyone who believes in evolution can prove. With sources, and only with sources. That there was a gradual proccess. Prove with the fossil records that there were species that turned into other species over time. The rules of the game is that whoever is the first to do a personal insult. Loses the debate, and is automaticly declared the loser. People should be able to have a debate without childish insults.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeriousSister08 View Post
    I want to know if anyone who believes in evolution can prove. With sources, and only with sources. That there was a gradual proccess. Prove with the fossil records that there were species that turned into other species over time. The rules of the game is that whoever is the first to do a personal insult. Loses the debate, and is automaticly declared the loser. People should be able to have a debate without childish insults.
    Is the pro-evolution debater restricted to using only references to fossils, or may that person use other pieces of evidence?
    Also, what constitutes "proof" for the purposes of this debate, and is such appropriate in terms of the nature of evolutionary theory? Science rarely aims to "prove" anything, but rather to show that one scenario is better supported than all others.
    Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds that crawl.

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    The concept of a species is arbitrary.

    The definition of gradual is arbitrary.

    Why bother with a debate when we already know how it will play out.

    Scientist: Here are A and Z. And here is N, halfway between A and Z.

    Creationist: Ok but that isn't gradual enough, how did A evolve to N

    Scientist: Well here is fossil F

    Creationist: Ok but that isn't gradual enough, how did A evolve to F

    Scientist: Here is fossil D

    Creatrionist: Ok but that isn't gradual enough, how did A evolve to D

    Ad nauseum, until we run out of fossils.

    Not everything that dies turns into a fossil, so it is pretty much inconceivable we will have a fossilised record depicting a complete lineage of creatures over millions of years.

    If the resolution of change we are lucky enough to have in the fossil record isn't sufficient to satisfy your absurdly high standards, the problem lies with your standards and not the theory.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Symbiote View Post
    The concept of a species is arbitrary.

    The definition of gradual is arbitrary.

    Why bother with a debate when we already know how it will play out.

    Scientist: Here are A and Z. And here is N, halfway between A and Z.

    Creationist: Ok but that isn't gradual enough, how did A evolve to N

    Scientist: Well here is fossil F

    Creationist: Ok but that isn't gradual enough, how did A evolve to F

    Scientist: Here is fossil D

    Creatrionist: Ok but that isn't gradual enough, how did A evolve to D

    Ad nauseum, until we run out of fossils.

    Not everything that dies turns into a fossil, so it is pretty much inconceivable we will have a fossilised record depicting a complete lineage of creatures over millions of years.

    If the resolution of change we are lucky enough to have in the fossil record isn't sufficient to satisfy your absurdly high standards, the problem lies with your standards and not the theory.
    You make it sound like you can actually produce those connective points of evidence at all. But in fact you have no conclusive evidence of even one transitional species that proves that evo is true. Not without making huge assumptions and leaps of faith in man made conclusions which are unprovable.

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    Consider the birds of the air. They used to be dinosaurs.....Ask Archaeopteryx, A famously transitional fossil.
    " ... It's not as though he proved anything, he only refuted my evidence. ..." Archangel 04.01.09

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    Quote Originally Posted by Penfold View Post
    Consider the birds of the air. They used to be dinosaurs.....Ask Archaeopteryx, A famously transitional fossil.
    Then explain this example of Rapid adaptation, or Dramatic 'Reverse Evolution' that has been Documented In a Fish Species.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0515120759.htm

    Or this article about Avian quick-change artists: exemplars of rapid adaptation, house finches show that mothers know best. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...11/ai_86684504 Which attempts to claim this evidence as a confirmation of evolution when it specifically works against what Darwin described in finch's as they developed in the Galapagos which he specifically referred to in his book. Which is explained here. http://www.creationists.org/patrickyoung/article02.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    Then explain this example of Rapid adaptation, or Dramatic 'Reverse Evolution' that has been Documented In a Fish Species.
    "Whoooo! Look at them goalposts go! They're really booking it!"

    More Archie hackery. He once again LIES and says that no intermediate forms have been found. When provided with one that he already knows about, he straps the goalposts to his back and takes off. Now, instead of saying, "Oh, hm, I guess there are intermediate forms, and my foot should be stuck so far in my mouth that it will have to be surgically extracted," he's asking for explanation of adaptability that doesn't contradict the Modern Synthesis at all.
    Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds that crawl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    You make it sound like you can actually produce those connective points of evidence at all. But in fact you have no conclusive evidence of even one transitional species that proves that evo is true. Not without making huge assumptions and leaps of faith in man made conclusions which are unprovable.
    Oh AA, come on. The planet's crust is littered with transitional forms.

    A fossil isn't called transitional because we know for certain it's a direct descendent of one species and a direct ancestor of another. It's called transitional because it exhibits intermediate features or a combination of features, and because it's found at an appropriate level in the geological column relative to the forms to which it appears morphologically intermediate(and no, that's not the same as depth underground; uplift and erosion sees to that.) and in an appropriate geographical location.

    We have detailed fossil records showing both smooth species-species transitions and longer-term higher-order transitions. A couple of excerpts from the page I linked:

    Rose & Bown (1984) analyzed over 600 specimens of primates collected from a 700-meter-thick sequence representing approximately 4 million years of the Eocene. They found smooth transitions between Teilhardina americana and Tetonoides tenuiculus, and also beween Tetonius homunculus and Pseudotetonius ambiguus.
    Gingerich (summarized in 1977) traced two distinct species of lemur-like primates, Pelycodus frugivorus and P. jarrovii, back in time, and found that they converged on the earlier Pelycodus abditus "in size, mesostyle development, and every other character available for study, and there can be little doubt that each was derived from that species." Further work (Gingerich, 1980) in the same rich Wyoming fossil sites found species-to-species transitions for every step in the following lineage: Pelycodus ralstoni (54 Ma) to P. mckennai to P. trigonodus to P. abditus, which then forked into three branches. One became a new genus, Copelemur feretutus, and further changed into C. consortutus. The second branch became P. frugivorus. The third led to P. jarrovi, which changed into another new genus, Notharctus robinsoni, which itself split into at least two branches, N. tenebrosus, and N. pugnax (which then changed to N. robustior, 48 Ma), and possibly a third, Smilodectes mcgrewi (which then changed to S. gracilis). Note that this sequence covers at least three and possibly four genera, with a timespan of 6 million years.
    Kurten (1976) describes bear transitions: "From the early Ursus minimus of 5 million years ago to the late Pleistocene cave bear, there is a perfectly complete evolutionary sequence without any real gaps. The transition is slow and gradual throughout, and it is quite difficult to say where one species ends and the next begins. Where should we draw the boundary between U. minimus and U. etruscus, or between U. savini and U. spelaeus? The history of the cave bear becomes a demonstration of evolution, not as a hypothesis or theory but as a simple fact of record." He adds, "In this respect the cave bear's history is far from unique."
    Werdelin & Solounias (1991) wrote an extensive monograph on hyenids. They discuss over one hundred (!) named species, with extensive discussion of the eighteen best-known species, and cladistic analysis of hundreds of specimens from the SIXTY-ONE "reasonably well known" hyaenid fossil species. They concluded:

    "We view the evolution of hyaenids as overwhelmingly gradual. The species, when studied with regard to their total variability, often grade insensibly into each other, as do the genera. Large specimens of Hyaenotherium wongii are, for example, difficult to distinguish from small specimens of Hyaenictitherium hyaenoides, a distinct genus. Viewed over the entire family, the evolution of hyaenids from small, fox-like forms to large, scavenging, "typical" hyenas can be followed step by step, and the assembly of features defining the most derived forms has taken place piecemeal since the Miocene. Nowhere is there any indication of major breaks identifying macroevolutionary steps."
    Another good page is this one detailing the evolution of horses from small, dog-like three-toed creatures 50mya, a sequence which is extremely complete and also illustrates the 'pruned bush' nature of evolution (whereby one or two surviving species today are all that's left of a flourishing diaspora of related species that all went extinct at various points).

    I've asked you before for an alternative explanation for the existence of these transitional forms, and the best you could come up with is that it's a colossal coincidence. According to you, all these transitional forms were independent unrelated species that just happened to have intermediate features and just happened to leave fossils only at levels in the geological column that produce an illusion of relatedness. Which is about as convincing an explanation as saying that each frame of a film actually depicts completely different people doing completely different things in completely different places and only coincidentally looks like a coherent narrative. Does it really make sense to believe that literally hundreds of slightly different independent species all lived together in the same small geographical area, and all left fossils in an order that created the illusion of evolution in action? Did you have the first idea just how numerous and fine-grained the transitional fossils we have are, when you decided that evolution had no evidential basis?
    Last edited by Peeling; 06-12-2008 at 12:16 PM.

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    Modern whales have thigh bones but no thighs.

    Fossils, here you go:

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=...hales-had-legs
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peeling View Post
    Oh AA, come on. The planet's crust is littered with transitional forms.

    A fossil isn't called transitional because we know for certain it's a direct descendent of one species and a direct ancestor of another. It's called transitional because it exhibits intermediate features or a combination of features, and because it's found at an appropriate level in the geological column relative to the forms to which it appears morphologically intermediate(and no, that's not the same as depth underground; uplift and erosion sees to that.) and in an appropriate geographical location.

    We have detailed fossil records showing both smooth species-species transitions and longer-term higher-order transitions. A couple of excerpts from the page I linked:

    Another good page is this one detailing the evolution of horses from small, dog-like three-toed creatures 50mya, a sequence which is extremely complete and also illustrates the 'pruned bush' nature of evolution (whereby one or two surviving species today are all that's left of a flourishing diaspora of related species that all went extinct at various points).

    I've asked you before for an alternative explanation for the existence of these transitional forms, and the best you could come up with is that it's a colossal coincidence. According to you, all these transitional forms were independent unrelated species that just happened to have intermediate features and just happened to leave fossils only at levels in the geological column that produce an illusion of relatedness. Which is about as convincing an explanation as saying that each frame of a film actually depicts completely different people doing completely different things in completely different places and only coincidentally looks like a coherent narrative. Does it really make sense to believe that literally hundreds of slightly different independent species all lived together in the same small geographical area, and all left fossils in an order that created the illusion of evolution in action? Did you have the first idea just how numerous and fine-grained the transitional fossils we have are, when you decided that evolution had no evidential basis?
    I marvel at how your side can be so convinced of something when you must base your ultimate conclusions on so many unprovable assumptions. As I read this, http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-...rt1a.html#tran I see nothing but assertions while it offers actual evidence of nothing. But its chock full of excuses to try to explain the gaps away. So just for once please admit that what you post as evidence is nothing more than wishful thinking Peeling. Nothing they offer in your link is absolute evidence of anything that is proven for sure.

    Especially since your evidence requires millions of years to occur but I have shown 2 examples of rapid adaptation occurring in just a number of generations for the animals used as examples. And in the case of the tiny fish, it was referred to as reverse evolution. Interesting that no one tries to actually refute them but just ignores them as they stick with the standard talking points.

    And shouldn't this thread be moved OUT of the one on one ONLY debates forum?

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    Especially since your evidence requires millions of years to occur but I have shown 2 examples of rapid adaptation occurring in just a number of generations for the animals used as examples. And in the case of the tiny fish, it was referred to as reverse evolution. Interesting that no one tries to actually refute them but just ignores them as they stick with the standard talking points.
    'Reverse Evolution' is a commonly used, but misleading, term. I saw a slightly apocryphal 'documentary' on it's occurence in humans, citing a family in a remote part of the world that walked on all fours. It turned out that the reason for this was incest - the family had interbred, causing much more sever results in a very short space of time.
    If this much more drastic mutation turns out to be beneficial, then it will still be passed on by natural selection. This could well be the case in your example(s).
    The truth may be out there, but lies are in your head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    I marvel at how your side can be so convinced of something when you must base your ultimate conclusions on so many unprovable assumptions.
    Yessir, Mr. Projectionist. Let's ignore this evidence and instead take upon faith the absurdities and unprovable assumptions of the Bible. What is more marvelous is how people actually don't see the stupidity of such a position.

    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    As I read this, http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-...rt1a.html#tran I see nothing but assertions while it offers actual evidence of nothing.
    Gee Archie, all you had to do was click on any of the links that actually say that they show transitional/intermediate forms. Or, God forbid, you could read more than a few paragraphs. A huge list starts toward the bottom of the very same page. At the very bottom, there is a link to another huge list. Tell me, do you also marvel at your selective ignorance of the evidence that is presented to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    So just for once please admit that what you post as evidence is nothing more than wishful thinking Peeling.
    Interesting. Archie accuses Peeling of wishful thinking while saying that there is no evidence in Peeling's links, even though the evidence is right there on the same page Archie linked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    Especially since your evidence requires millions of years to occur but I have shown 2 examples of rapid adaptation occurring in just a number of generations for the animals used as examples.
    When you can show examples of the phenotypic change represented by these intermediate forms occurring in "just a number of generations," we'll talk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    And in the case of the tiny fish, it was referred to as reverse evolution.
    Which was probably for journalistic shock value. Evolution has no defined direction. Take the example of the finch beaks: the median beak got longer, then it got shorter. How is this a falsification of the Modern Synthesis? Answer: it's not, unless you're living in Archieland, where evolutionary theory says whatever Archie cares to make it say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    Interesting that no one tries to actually refute them but just ignores them as they stick with the standard talking points.
    Why refute? Where is the need to refute? I already told you that neither of these cases challenges the Modern Synthesis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    And shouldn't this thread be moved OUT of the one on one ONLY debates forum?
    It should at least be split. I asked for clarification in good faith. The OP hasn't been back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    As I read this, http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-...rt1a.html#tran I see nothing but assertions while it offers actual evidence of nothing. But its chock full of excuses to try to explain the gaps away.
    AA, I directly quoted you no less than four gapless transitional sequences between species and genera identified in the fossil record. Gapless, as in no gaps to explain. Either refute their validity, or admit you were wrong to say we have no evidence of transitional forms. Anything else is childish obstinacy and far beneath you.

    When you've done that, maybe you could take a step back and look at what these 'gaps' you're so enamoured of are in. They're gaps in a clear and unambiguous nested hierarchy of forms, exactly as predicted by evolutionary theory.

    But fine, if you want to make this a who's-got-the-biggest-gaps contest, let's consider the fossil record your beliefs predict.

    According to you, all species lived side by side until they individually became extinct. So if we're really generous, and assume that the fossils we find were in every case deposited just before extinction, every span of strata below the ones in which we find the remains of a particular species constitutes a 'gap': somewhere we should find those fossils, according to your predictions, but don't. So how big are your gaps?

    Pretty big, as it turns out. Hardly any species are found to span more than a handful of millions of years of strata, out of an average of 1.5 billion years of fossil-bearing rock. So the fossil record, as viewed from your perspective, is around 99% gap. Not one single species is found spanning the column - not one, out of millions - despite them having all lived side by side, according to you, from the very beginning.

    I know you don't believe in dating methods - frankly, I couldn't care less. It doesn't matter. What matters is the narrowness of the range of fossils within the column. It doesn't matter how fast it was laid down, it's still 99% gap as far as you're concerned.
    e
    So I tell you what: I'll take your criticisms about the gaps in what looks exactly like an evolutionary hierarchy of fossil forms seriously when you pony up some semblance of an explanation as to why a) your theory is 99% gap, and b) why it's just the right 99% gap - at frankly incalculable odds - to give the illusion of an evolutionary history.
    Last edited by Peeling; 06-13-2008 at 04:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peeling View Post
    So I tell you what: I'll take your criticisms about the gaps in what looks exactly like an evolutionary hierarchy of fossil forms seriously when you pony up some semblance of an explanation as to why a) your theory is 99% gap, and b) why it's just the right 99% gap - at frankly incalculable odds - to give the illusion of an evolutionary history.
    Well put, Peeling. This should be interesting.
    Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds that crawl.

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