Missing link found! (no, seriously, lol)

The Sinister Minister
Retired Forum Staff
💻 Oldtimer
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Messages
3,637
Best answers
0
Also - at least, this was what my local news station relayed when they aired a report about this last night - the scientific community is hesitant to go ahead and agree that this is, indeed, a "missing link". Frankly, I don't blame them.

As neat as it would be to have a definitive link established right now, I'm more than happy to wait for this find to be peer-reviewed extensively. I'll never forgive myself for jumping on the "We live in the Sagitarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy!" bandwagon.
 

sub

Active Member
💻 Oldtimer
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
5,961
Best answers
0
That's true Maj, but if this isn't it, I think it's only a matter of time before one is found.
 
Former Forcepit Member :(
✔️ HL Verified
💻 Oldtimer
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
Messages
1,716
Best answers
0
whats next they find a man with a tail buhahahahaha
 

MC

New Member
💻 Oldtimer
Joined
May 24, 2003
Messages
3,989
Best answers
0
PZ Myers made an interesting post on his blog regarding the discovery:

This is an important new fossil, a 47 million year old primate nicknamed Ida. She's a female juvenile who was probably caught in a toxic gas cloud from a volcanic lake, and her body settled into the soft sediments of the lake, where she was buried undisturbed.


What's so cool about it?

Age. It's 47 million years old. That's interestingly old…it puts us deep into the primate family tree.

Preservation. This is an awesome fossil: it's almost perfectly complete, with all the bones in place, preserved in its death posture. There is a halo of darkly stained material around it; this is a remnant of the flesh and fur that rotted in place, and allows us to see a rough outline of the body and make estimates of muscle size. Furthermore, the guts and stomach contents are preserved. Ida's last meal was fruit and leaves, in case you wanted to know.

Life stage. Ida is a young juvenile, estimate to be right on the transition from requiring parental care to independent living. That means she has a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth — she's a two-fer, giving us information about both.

Phylogeny. A cladistic analysis of the fossil revealed another interesting point. There are two broad groups of primates: the strepsirrhines, which includes the lemurs and lorises, and the haplorhines, which includes monkeys and apes…and us, of course. Ida's anatomy places her in the haplorhines with us, but at the same time she's primitive. This is an animal caught shortly after a major branch point in primate evolutionary history.

She's beautiful and interesting and important, but I do have to take exception to the surprisingly frantic news coverage I'm seeing. She's being called the "missing link in human evolution", which is annoying. The whole "missing link" category is a bit of journalistic trumpery: almost every fossil could be called a link, and it feeds the simplistic notion that there could be a single definitive bridge between ancient and modern species. There isn't: there is the slow shift of whole populations which can branch and diverge. It's also inappropriate to tag this discovery to human evolution. She's 47 million years old; she's also a missing link in chimp evolution, or rhesus monkey evolution. She's got wider significance than just her relationship to our narrow line.

People have been using remarkable hyperbole when discussing Darwinius. She's going to affect paleontology "like an asteroid falling down to earth"; she's the "Mona Lisa" of fossils; she answers all of Darwin's questions about transitional fossils; she's "something that the world has never seen before"; "a revolutionary scientific find that will change everything". Well, OK. I was impressed enough that I immediately made Ida my desktop wallpaper, so I'm not trying to diminish the importance of the find. But let's not forget that there are lots of transitional forms found all the time. She's unique as a representative of a new species, but she isn't at all unique as a representative of the complex history of life on earth.

When Laelaps says, "I have the feeling that this fossil, while spectacular, is being oversold," I think he's being spectacularly understated. Wilkins also knocks down the whole "missing link" label. The hype is bad news, not because Ida is unimportant, but because it detracts from the larger body of the fossil record — I doubt that the media will be able to muster as much excitement from whatever new fossil gets published in Nature or Science next week, no matter how significant it may be.

Go ahead and be excited by this find, I know I am. Just remember to be excited tomorrow and the day after and the day after that, because this is perfectly normal science, and it will go on.
Source: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/05/darwinius_masillae.php
 
Live free or die by the sword
Retired Forum Staff
✔️ HL Verified
💻 Oldtimer
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Messages
7,416
Best answers
0
Relevant point I was about to make was already covered in that blog. This is not a bridge between mankind and animals, but a bridge between animals and primates. I still beleive that macro evolution does not exist. Fish do not become people. Lizards do not become dogs. Similarly, this creature was a lemure before it was an ape, an acceptable small leap, but I firmly disagree with the idea that macro evolution happens, and I'll need to see something more impressive than primate digits on a lemur to agree with it. Find me a fish with legs and lungs, and while your at it, make sure you prove that there was a breeding colony of them and they decided the beach was nicer than the water.
 

MC

New Member
💻 Oldtimer
Joined
May 24, 2003
Messages
3,989
Best answers
0
Relevant point I was about to make was already covered in that blog. This is not a bridge between mankind and animals, but a bridge between animals and primates.
Humans are primates.

I still beleive that macro evolution does not exist. Fish do not become people. Lizards do not become dogs.
Nobody is claiming that either of them do nor is that how evolution works.

Similarly, this creature was a lemure before it was an ape, an acceptable small leap, but I firmly disagree with the idea that macro evolution happens, and I'll need to see something more impressive than primate digits on a lemur to agree with it.
From Wikipedia:

The fossil is placed within the primate family tree along with other fossil primates. Ida was originally thought to be a primitive lemur, but comparative tests revealed her to have anthropoid features. This indicates that she is a transitional fossil between primitive primates and the human lineage. Two of the key anatomical features found in lemurs are not present in the fossil: a grooming claw on the foot and a fused row of teeth, a toothcomb, in the bottom jaw. Instead, she has a short face with forward facing eyes like humans as opposed to the long face of a lemur, nails instead of claws, and teeth similar to those of monkeys. The fossil's hands have five fingers and exhibit human-like opposable thumbs. These would have provided a "precision grip" which, for Ida, was useful for climbing and gathering fruit. Ida also had flexible arms and relatively short limbs.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwinius_masillae#Type_specimen

Find me a fish with legs and lungs, and while your at it, make sure you prove that there was a breeding colony of them and they decided the beach was nicer than the water.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiktaalik
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acanthostega
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichthyostega

Now, about the micro/macro dichotomy:

The only distinction between micro and macroevolution is that of scale. In that microevolution refers to small changes within a species. While macroevolution refers to the evolution of one species into another as the result of microevolution.

It's not "either or."
 
Live free or die by the sword
Retired Forum Staff
✔️ HL Verified
💻 Oldtimer
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Messages
7,416
Best answers
0
What I'm seeing, is amphibians who were greater adapted to water, not fish. But what the **** do I know, I'm just a bible thumping right wing nut job.

It has become increasingly clear to me that I have almost zero in common with most of the people here, and this may very well be my last social post on the forum.

Funny how I'm the one called closed minded when I'm the one not sticking to evolution as stated or creationism as stated. Note that I'm not saying that either of you called me close minded here.
 
New Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2001
Messages
692
Best answers
0
I'm no biologist, but they look fish-like to me. Lungfish and the fishes MC mentioned have both gills and lungs. Adult amphibians don't have gills as far as I know?

Anyways, it might be hard to find you a fish with lungs and legs if you define a fish as a creature that does not have lungs and legs :p

I'm not against anyone questioning any scientific models. In the end the best science can do is produce incomplete models that approximate what happens in the world, (see Godel, Heisenberg). This includes evolution theory, and your macro evolution argument could be valid: for macro evolution to occur, all micro steps should profit or at the very least not harm the creature. I just think your walking fish with lungs isn't a very good counter-example :) Another argument against evolution is that of parallelism: why do both humans and octopi have eyes, while they are from completely different evolutionary branches? The evolutionist would say that basically in both branches evolution converged to a profitable see-thing.

I'm just against the 'science can't explain it so god exists' kind of reasoning ID represents. But I'm sure you'd also rather not have God as the thing that fills some scientific holes.
 
Last edited:
Live free or die by the sword
Retired Forum Staff
✔️ HL Verified
💻 Oldtimer
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Messages
7,416
Best answers
0
Every time I point out a flaw in Evolution its ignored, like you are trying explain to religous person that his or her god does not exist. Science is like the new roman catholic church, it is their brand of truth, or you are publically humiliated. Look at the debate over man's invlovement in global climate change (don't forget, can't call it global warming because that doesn't happen anymore with three years in a row of declining temps), if you came out against it at any time in the last few years people would throw hissy fits, call you a heretic and burn you on a cross.

I'm not saying that evolution is impossible because god made everything, that has never been my position. I am saying that Natural Selection is true and observable, micro evolution is true and observable, but full on changes of order and family are so impossible on so many levels it boggles my mind that people can accept that it does happen. My problem has always been adapation of the new animal to its old breeding population? How the hell can that happen when its base DNA is so different from the parent creatures due to mutation? Surely most animals would be unviable, need a better example? What happens when you mix a horse with a donkey? Now those two animals are relatively close in habitat, diet, and probably body chemistry. How can you say the same of a fish that suddenly has genes for legs and lungs, and it tries to mate with something from its own clutch of eggs to populate an entirely new race of animal. I just don't see it possible on the common sense level. Sure some things are no brainers. I fully can beleive that dogs are related to wolves, foxes, etc. I have a hard time believing, however, that at some point they were related to mice. Even birds and dinosaurs can stretch this. I just don't see amphibians coming from fish. I believe that when amphibians were completely waterborne, they were chemically and fundimentally different from fish.
 
New Member
✔️ HL Verified
💻 Oldtimer
Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Messages
1,185
Best answers
0
Every time I point out a flaw in Evolution its ignored, like you are trying explain to religous person that his or her god does not exist. Science is like the new roman catholic church, it is their brand of truth, or you are publically humiliated. Look at the debate over man's invlovement in global climate change (don't forget, can't call it global warming because that doesn't happen anymore with three years in a row of declining temps), if you came out against it at any time in the last few years people would throw hissy fits, call you a heretic and burn you on a cross.

I'm not saying that evolution is impossible because god made everything, that has never been my position. I am saying that Natural Selection is true and observable, micro evolution is true and observable, but full on changes of order and family are so impossible on so many levels it boggles my mind that people can accept that it does happen. My problem has always been adapation of the new animal to its old breeding population? How the hell can that happen when its base DNA is so different from the parent creatures due to mutation? Surely most animals would be unviable, need a better example? What happens when you mix a horse with a donkey? Now those two animals are relatively close in habitat, diet, and probably body chemistry. How can you say the same of a fish that suddenly has genes for legs and lungs, and it tries to mate with something from its own clutch of eggs to populate an entirely new race of animal. I just don't see it possible on the common sense level. Sure some things are no brainers. I fully can beleive that dogs are related to wolves, foxes, etc. I have a hard time believing, however, that at some point they were related to mice. Even birds and dinosaurs can stretch this. I just don't see amphibians coming from fish. I believe that when amphibians were completely waterborne, they were chemically and fundimentally different from fish.
I have a few problems with what you just said.

1) You imply you are open-minded. The definition of open-minded is being able to hold ideas you don't agree with in your head until sufficient evidence is presented for you to be willing to accept them. MC offered you decent evidence, evidence you claimed you needed to accept evolution, but you seem to have ignored it. You certainly didn't offer a claim of why those intermediate fossils didn't fit your criteria.

2) You don't seem to grasp evolution according to what you posted previously. You keep putting evolution in perspective of animal being born that has different DNA sufficiently enough to be considered a new species. That is not the way it works. Imagine that there are many isolated populations of animals of species X (meaning the different populations are isolated so that they cannot interbred, ie on different land masses). Say one of those populations undergoes microevolution over long periods of time (in reality, they all undergo these changes). The entire population's gene pool starts changing until the point where it is considered a new species Y. This is because they have developed lots of tiny genetic changes that make them unable to breed with species X.

A horse and a donkey can breed, but they produce an infertile offspring. One of the requirements for a species to be considered a species is that is must be able to procreate. Hence, horses and donkeys are of different species.

3) I understand that it is hard to believe that animals as different as birds and dinosaurs are distantly related. I don't see it much relation either. However, this is science we're talking about and sometimes, it can blow your mind. That's what so awesome about it. For example, according to quantum mechanics, electrons can travel through space by tunneling through. Meaning, they can disappear from one spot and appear at another even though there is something blocking their path. That blows my mind, and the evidence is hard to understand. But that doesn't mean the evidence is wrong, just that I don't understand it. You can call it faith, but I call it ignorance.

No one questions quantum mechanics because they can't understand it, so why does everyone question evolution? The only reason that makes sense is that they believe contradicts their spiritual and religious dogma. Natural selection doesn't say how life began, only how life is so diverse. Is it impossible to believe that a god created the first few lifeforms and everything evolved from that? Science offers nothing to contradict that belief.
 
Last edited:
Lost in space
Banned
💻 Oldtimer
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
2,497
Best answers
0
I have a few problems with what you just said.

1) You imply you are open-minded. The definition of open-minded is being able to hold ideas you don't agree with in your head until sufficient evidence is presented for you to be willing to accept them. MC offered you decent evidence, evidence you claimed you needed to accept evolution, but you seem to have ignored it. You certainly didn't offer a claim of why those intermediate fossils didn't fit your criteria.

2) You don't seem to grasp evolution according to what you posted previously. You keep putting evolution in perspective of animal being born that has different DNA sufficiently enough to be considered a new species. That is not the way it works. Imagine that there are many isolated populations of animals of species X (meaning the different populations are isolated so that they cannot interbred, ie on different land masses). Say one of those populations undergoes microevolution over long periods of time (in reality, they all undergo these changes). The entire population's gene pool starts changing until the point where it is considered a new species Y. This is because they have developed lots of tiny genetic changes that make them unable to breed with species X.

A horse and a donkey can breed, but they produce an infertile offspring. One of the requirements for a species to be considered a species is that is must be able to procreate. Hence, horses and donkeys are of different species.

3) I understand that it is hard to believe that animals as different as birds and dinosaurs are distantly related. I don't see it much relation either. However, this is science we're talking about and sometimes, it can blow your mind. That's what so awesome about it. For example, according to quantum mechanics, electrons can travel through space by tunneling through. Meaning, they can disappear from one spot and appear at another even though there is something blocking their path. That blows my mind, and the evidence is hard to understand. But that doesn't mean the evidence is wrong, just that I don't understand it. You can call it faith, but I call it ignorance.

No one questions quantum mechanics because they can't understand it, so why does everyone question evolution? The only reason that makes sense is that they believe contradicts their spiritual and religious dogma. Natural selection doesn't say how life began, only how life is so diverse. Is it impossible to believe that a god created the first few lifeforms and everything evolved from that? Science offers nothing to contradict that belief.
and i will ****in' cut anyone who has anything to say to this argument.

that is, quite possibly, the most diverse, well thought-out, scientific, and faithful argument i have ever seen.
 
Freelance Mappzor
✔️ HL Verified
🚂 Steam Linked
💻 Oldtimer
Joined
Nov 21, 2003
Messages
17,065
Best answers
0
No one questions quantum mechanics because they can't understand it, so why does everyone question evolution?
Thats an easy one. Evolution takes time. Lots of it. Yet the transitional forms are nowhere to be found. What happened to them in the past that they went missing. We find fosils of Specias X and its evolved state specias Y. But evolving on a micro scale would mean that hundreds of years have passed. So where the hell are the transition forms betwean X and Y. Thats the main problem in evolution.

The only logical explanation i can find is that they dont exist. That some external source caused an evolutionary sprout that changed species X into specias Y within no more than 2 generations. And im sure im not the only person with that asumption. But logic allso dictates that doing such an evolutionary jump is not possible without gene manipulation. Meaning impossible unless some (excuse the expression) aliens decided to fiddle with genes of animals on this planet.

Thats the problem with evolution. No matter how hard we look we just cant seem to find defenite transition forms, when there should be lots of them unless the change happened so rapidly that specias X literally gave birth to species Y.

As you said we dont understand quantum mechanics. But evolutionary changes we understand far more. Thats why the problem i mentioned arises.
 
New Member
✔️ HL Verified
💻 Oldtimer
Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Messages
1,185
Best answers
0
Thats an easy one. Evolution takes time. Lots of it. Yet the transitional forms are nowhere to be found. What happened to them in the past that they went missing. We find fosils of Specias X and its evolved state specias Y. But evolving on a micro scale would mean that hundreds of years have passed. So where the hell are the transition forms betwean X and Y. Thats the main problem in evolution.

The only logical explanation i can find is that they dont exist. That some external source caused an evolutionary sprout that changed species X into specias Y within no more than 2 generations. And im sure im not the only person with that asumption. But logic allso dictates that doing such an evolutionary jump is not possible without gene manipulation. Meaning impossible unless some (excuse the expression) aliens decided to fiddle with genes of animals on this planet.

Thats the problem with evolution. No matter how hard we look we just cant seem to find defenite transition forms, when there should be lots of them unless the change happened so rapidly that specias X literally gave birth to species Y.

As you said we dont understand quantum mechanics. But evolutionary changes we understand far more. Thats why the problem i mentioned arises.
I'm not sure you understand it, but to be honest, I don't understand as well as I feel like I should. That is what I was trying to say in my previous post. You feel like you understand it, but we really don't because neither of us have studied it at all. All the experts that devote their lives to scientific research of evolution seem to agree that evolution is the only reasonable explanation for the diverse life out there. Do you really think they are all in cahoots making lies up to screw with the general public? Or do you think you understand it better than they?

1) Evolution doesn't create new species within hundreds of years. It takes much longer than that, typically.

2) The fossil record is incomplete and will always be incomplete. No scientist will ever try to argue the opposite. The fact is that getting a nice fossil of an animal is very rare. The only reason we find so many is because of the large time scale that life has been on Earth for. There have been so many species that have lived and died that never produced a single fossil. There are so many species that have produced fossils that we haven't or maybe never will find. It doesn't mean they didn't exist, just that we'll never see them.

What science does is extrapolate. We see all theses species that have nice intermediate forms and turn from one animal into another. We take these many, many, many examples and extrapolate them to all the other examples. We can then bridge more gaps using this type of thinking until we can find fossil evidence that prove that what we thought of is correct. That is science. Discovering some sort of natural process and applying to other areas and seeing if it holds up. Keep in mind that no one has found evidence to discredit natural selection. That evidence they show you in creationist textbooks isn't evidence, but usually something they claim to be "irreducible complexity," which I won't get into.
 
Live free or die by the sword
Retired Forum Staff
✔️ HL Verified
💻 Oldtimer
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Messages
7,416
Best answers
0
Grega pretty much tapped into my problem with evolution. I do have a grasp on how its supposed to go. I have problems with the process by which it happens. Lets assert that it does happen, and it takes several thousands, if not millions of years for something to happen. Fish growing legs and becoming amphibians, for example. Lungs are an easy enough development to drag along in the water, its an internal change. It changes the creatures mode of living. Born from a clutch where many of its siblings won't have it's mutant DNA, and its parents certainly did not, the now lung equipped amphibian can live out of water. That's not enough though, it needs locomotion for land, so it has a mutuation for legs too. These vestigal leg fins let it slopplily move on land. What happens when it starts losing fins in succeeding generations? It can't swim as well, but its still born to waterborne parents? And what of the first generation that loses its gills, and has only lungs? Seperated from its parents, having instincts wired for the completely wrong creature, this animal has a really poor shot at becoming a viable species. Once the genetic drift becomes great enough, it might not even be able to mate with the old species to produce more of its own. Lets also not forget that species that reproduce sexually need a minimum breeding number or they begin to suffer serious reproductive problems. If evolution does indeed happen as such, why are no transitional forms in exsistance today? Why aren't their balding apes that are approaching thier more advanced cousins? Humans have a very unique trick in their DNA that makes them utterly confusing, our DNA produces more than one protein per base pair, something which no other animal on earth does, why are there no primates with this ability? Why are there no currently observable mid-evolution species? Surely there should be more fish trying to crawl on land with vestigal legs ready to go? If evolution is a constantly changing thing, we are only ever seeing minor changes within an animal type. A new breed of dog, a new breed of cat, but never a dog or cat getting opposible thumbs or developing the ability to speak, which would be a boon to it as a species. So then your argument has to become, are all the species on earth at the end of their line? Is there no more evolution in play because every niche is filled? I assert that if evolution is true, it must be happening now, and there are no fish dragging around legs, no lizards sprouting feathers, no canids with opposible thumbs, etc etc. Further, if a mutation is beneficial within a certain environ, why doesn't every creature have it?

Its not that I have answers for everything, its that I reject the notion that we, as a people, understand the full picture of whats going on here. They say its the only model that fits, just like advanced physics, just like meteorology, and people start to have faith in it. That doesn't mean that it has all the answers, and people should really stop treating it as such.

1) You imply you are open-minded. The definition of open-minded is being able to hold ideas you don't agree with in your head until sufficient evidence is presented for you to be willing to accept them. MC offered you decent evidence, evidence you claimed you needed to accept evolution, but you seem to have ignored it. You certainly didn't offer a claim of why those intermediate fossils didn't fit your criteria.
I certainly did. Those do not appear to be fish to me, rather they appear to be Amphibians well adapted to water. In addition, I have several other problems listed above. I did not decide to go against main stream science without ammunition. If it is reasonable and observable it is true, if it is supported and reasonable but not observable it is a theory. Theory is not truth, theory is a well thought out and supported hypothesis. When you start subsitituting fact with theory, you are running on faith rather than science.

2) You don't seem to grasp evolution according to what you posted previously. You keep putting evolution in perspective of animal being born that has different DNA sufficiently enough to be considered a new species. That is not the way it works. Imagine that there are many isolated populations of animals of species X (meaning the different populations are isolated so that they cannot interbred, ie on different land masses). Say one of those populations undergoes microevolution over long periods of time (in reality, they all undergo these changes). The entire population's gene pool starts changing until the point where it is considered a new species Y. This is because they have developed lots of tiny genetic changes that make them unable to breed with species X.
I reject the idea that evolution happens as stated, I assert that you cannot have genentic drift which changes the fundamental makeup of the creature. I have an understanding of evolution and its theories. Because I disagree, does not mean I do not understand. In fact, it is absolutely imperative that I understand the basic arguments FOR evolution to disagree with them, or I would just be talking out of my ass.

3) I understand that it is hard to believe that animals as different as birds and dinosaurs are distantly related. I don't see it much relation either. However, this is science we're talking about and sometimes, it can blow your mind. That's what so awesome about it. For example, according to quantum mechanics, electrons can travel through space by tunneling through. Meaning, they can disappear from one spot and appear at another even though there is something blocking their path. That blows my mind, and the evidence is hard to understand. But that doesn't mean the evidence is wrong, just that I don't understand it. You can call it faith, but I call it ignorance.
If you read my post, you'll see that I actually said I could see how dinosaurs became birds. The bird hipped dinos appear to have all the earmarks of birds. Warm blood, lay eggs, many have been found to have feathers, that all lines up. They took to the air at some point in the distant past, that too is acceptable. I reject the idea that protozoa could become multicelled organisms, that fish can become true amphibians, that fish can become lizards, and that at some point, lizards became mammals. I see long range change within a type of animal as completely possible, I do not see changing of types as possible at all, there are too many holes for that sort of thinking to become plausible, much less definate.

You say you are ignorant, rather than running on faith, but you still support evolution as fact. I say the model needs work, and while we are saying that evolution is indeed the answer, we are not working on the truth.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top