Pharyngula

A dolphin…with hindlimbs

Now this is cool:

i-fa3e93329362492341873077f5bcdc28-4fin_dolphin.jpg

Just as sometimes humans are born with little tails, it seems that a few bottlenosed dolphins are born with vestiges of hindlimbs. The genetic toolbox for making limbs is all there, and sometimes it can get re-expressed, revealing these fascinating atavisms.

Comments

  1. #1 Sotiris
    November 5, 2006

    Vestiges my bum. Those, like every other, past and present, case of ‘vestigial’ hindlimbs ever reported, are obviously designed to help in mating, turning that dolphin into one mean playah. Just a last minute improvement of the Designer in this case, who apparently thought dolphins need more sexin’ up.
    This is too easy. Next!

  2. #2 thomis
    November 5, 2006

    Wow, I just heard this reported on ABC radio news (don’t ask why I’ve got KSTP on… I just can’t stand Garisson is all)
    The ABC radio news announcer introduced it as “A sign, that maybe, once, mammals that live in the ocean, once walked on land”
    Maybe? Ya don’t say? Wow, I never woulda thunk it!

  3. #3 Ken Mareld
    November 5, 2006

    Sad,
    While fascinating for providing more evidence of the mechanism of evolution, I suspect that it is actually evidence of a species under stress. Expressions of vestigal limbs may indicate a diminishment of gene pool variation. That population of dolphins might have other genetic characteristics that will inhibit thier survivability. When I was twelve years old a friend of mine and I worked on and developed a strain of tailless mice. The local pet store would buy them for $2.00 each as curiosities. They were worth $.20 each if they had tails. They all died out after 9 generations. This occured though we introduced mice with tails every third generation. It was the mid sixties and we had been exposed to Mendel. I learned then that an obviously expressed anomoly can have other problems that inhibit survival. I wonder what would have been the survivability of that line of tailless mice if I then had real scientific training. And why would we promote such a thing?
    Ken

  4. #4 RavenT
    November 5, 2006

    I wonder what would have been the survivability of that line of tailless mice if I then had real scientific training. And why would we promote such a thing?

    Can’t comment on your hypothesis in general, Ken,

    While fascinating for providing more evidence of the mechanism of evolution, I suspect that it is actually evidence of a species under stress. Expressions of vestigal limbs may indicate a diminishment of gene pool variation.

    although it sounds at least possible to me, but here’s a data point in favor of your general line of thought. You’re familiar, I assume, with how dog breeds have been artificially selected with, shall we just say, the interests of the dogs themselves as less than the highest priority (/euphemism).

    Anyway, because of this selective breeding for recessive traits and the associated meticulous record-keeping, Elaine Ostrander’s lab is able to use that information to study cancer:

    Naturally occurring pedigrees of dogs are large, multigenerational, and the result of directed matings, all of which favor the expression of recessive disorders, such as cancers. Using information from these pedigrees, Dr. Ostrander’s laboratory is constructing and using high-density maps of the canine genome to identify genes that increase susceptibility to genetic forms of lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and kidney cancer. Her group also has undertaken a large single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) study to determine the inter-relatedness of dog breeds. This study demonstrated that differences among breeds account for about 30 percent of genetic variation within dogs. In addition, it demonstrated that genotyping could be used to assign 99 percent of individual dogs to their correct breeds. Phylogenetic analysis also allows several breeds with ancient origins to be separated from the remaining breeds with modern European origins. This work sets the stage for Dr. Ostrander and her collaborators to begin the cloning of genes identified in linkage studies by identifying ancestral chromosomes that contribute the same genetic mutation to a multitude of dog breeds.

  5. #5 RavenT
    November 5, 2006

    Frack. That should have been:

    Can’t comment on your hypothesis specifically, Ken,

    I need more caffeine, stat!

  6. #6 windy
    November 5, 2006

    Those, like every other, past and present, case of ‘vestigial’ hindlimbs ever reported, are obviously designed to help in mating…

    Like dolphins need any more encouragement 🙂 Wait, maybe that’s it – dolphins ver1.0 used to have these little mating clasps, but they misused them with all their gay sex and general promiscuity, and God, or I mean the ID, decided to remove them.

  7. #7 HP
    November 5, 2006

    I guess you could say that the Japanese researchers discovered the vestigial limbs by some fluke.

    Ha-ha-ha-ha! Fluke! Enh? Enh? Don’t you get it? You see, because fluke can mean an unexpected stroke of good luck or chance, but it can also refer to the flattened, triangular tail of a cetacean, used for propulsion. And, uh, they were lucky to find it, but also the limbs were near the dolphin’s fluke. So, it was by fluke (as in luck), but also by the fluke.

    Oh, man, I crack myself up sometimes.

    You’re not laughing? Here, let me explain the joke some more….

  8. #8 RavenT
    November 5, 2006

    I thought I had tapeworms once, but it was just a fluke

    On an unrelated note, I wonder why I don’t get invited to fancy dinner parties any more, being as how I’m such a raconteuse and all.

  9. #9 Forthekids
    November 5, 2006

    You Darwinists are so silly sometimes…

    Here, check out my blog on this “incredible find”…

    http://reasonablekansans.blogspot.com/

  10. #10 amph
    November 5, 2006

    While fascinating for providing more evidence of the mechanism of evolution, I suspect that it is actually evidence of a species under stress. Expressions of vestigal limbs may indicate a diminishment of gene pool variation.

    I don’t see why this type of observations would point in any direction at all. If so, you could say that of any phenotypic variation.
    Obviously, everyone who has ever seen a whale skeleton has noted the “vestigial hind limbs”. If one day a whale would turn up with limbs somewhat bigger or smaller, would that be a basis for speculations about “a species under stress”?
    Re: tailless mice:
    Many mutations causing short or no tails are in important genes that function in axial extension. Apparently primates found a way to get along with their tail-lessness.

    Those, like every other, past and present, case of ‘vestigial’ hind limbs ever reported, are obviously designed to help in mating, turning that dolphin into one mean playah.

    It is true that pythons have rudimentary hind limbs http://www.edwardtbabinski.us/articles/snake_vestigial_limb.html

    and that these are apparently functional during mating (to keep Mrs. Python in place). I don’t know if that would work in the water, though. If so, why did they ever lose them in the first place?

  11. #11 Troy Britain
    November 5, 2006

    I wonder how long before some creationist or cryptozoologist tries to claim that this isn’t a picture of a dolphin at all but rather an ichthyosaur.

    You should put this post up on Pandas as well PZ.

  12. #12 Patrick
    November 5, 2006

    Here, check out my blog on this “incredible find”…

    Welp, I’m convinced. Time to turn my back on evolutionary biology.

  13. #13 Henry
    November 5, 2006

    It is true that pythons have rudimentary hind limbs and that these are apparently functional during mating (to keep Mrs. Python in place). I don’t know if that would work in the water, though. If so, why did they ever lose them in the first place?

    Actually, the spurs of pythons and boas aren’t really big enough to grasp with, but they seem to play a role in stimulating the female during mating. See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfaB4Awnqt0

    As for why dolphins lost their hind limbs, it’s likely for hydrodynamic reasons; things that stick out create drag, and drag force is proportional to both surface area and the square of velocity. This means that for fast-moving animals, things that increase surface area, like limbs, increase drag and slow them down (or require higher forces to achieve the same speed).

  14. #14 Forthekids
    November 5, 2006

    “Welp, I’m convinced. Time to turn my back on evolutionary biology.”

    ROTFLMAO, Cool. See, I knew I’d convert some of you monkey men!

    Well, Patrick, now you can leave PZ and his nonsense and come on over to the brighter side of life. Hope you visit me again soon…

  15. #15 BC
    November 5, 2006

    Forthekids:

    You Darwinists are so silly sometimes… Here, check out my blog on this “incredible find”…

    Wow. Your use of photoshopped animals sure put us evolutionists in our place.

  16. #16 TheBlackCat
    November 5, 2006

    I wonder if this might restrict movement in some way. It would seem if these fins are usable they would need some sort of pelvis to support them. However, dolphins move much of their body when propelling themselves. I would think having a pelvis would significantly impede the sorts of body movements dolphins need to make. Perhaps not enough to be lethal, but perhaps enough for it to be selected against.

  17. #17 Gene Goldring
    November 5, 2006

    Yes but….lol
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n2/vestigial-structures

    This cartoon page will probably get portal page status for a while.

  18. #18 Domomojo
    November 5, 2006

    Slashdot poster “jemptymethod” wrote:

    “should the vestigial limbs be removed….?”

    “that would be de-feeting the porpoise”

    http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=204817&cid=16723523

  19. #19 wyomeg
    November 5, 2006

    Vestigial limbs are cool and all, but when I look at that picture I can only think they’re about to drown the poor dolphin trying to get a good shot. Turn him back over, damnit! Don’t they have waterproof cameras?

  20. #20 wyomeg
    November 5, 2006

    And I’m not sure if it’s sad or funny when the creationists post links to their bs “answer” pages on a site like this!

  21. #21 Chris Clarke
    November 5, 2006

    It’s amazing the kind of individual variations one can find in a population when you drive hundreds, if not thousands of individuals into a spot where fisherman kill them one at a time by hand after inspecting them closely to separate the absolute best specimens for live sale to private industry. It’s a hands-on method that allows for close inspection!

  22. #22 Sotiris
    November 5, 2006

    I just read the AiG ‘answer’, and I must say I’m amazed by the way these people can type away for 18 paragraphs without actually saying anything of substance. Remarkable.

    This is surprisingly accurate, however:
    “With the growing culture war between Christianity and secular humanism, people recognize that the foundational issue is the Bible versus human reason–and the creation/evolution issue is at the cutting edge of this battle”.

    Human reason versus the bible- couldn’t have said it better myself.

  23. #23 Alon Levy
    November 5, 2006

    drag force is proportional to both surface area and the square of velocity.

    Isn’t it proportional to surface area and velocity? Terminal speed calculations are based on the fact that gravity is a constant force while air resistance is proportional to speed.

  24. #24 Carolyn
    November 5, 2006

    Alon, Henry is right. Drag force is a function of the frontal area and square of the velocity. It’s also a function of the coefficient of drag, which itself is a function of a lot of things, like shape and surface roughness.

  25. #25 BC
    November 5, 2006

    “With the growing culture war between Christianity and secular humanism, people recognize that the foundational issue is the Bible versus human reason–and the creation/evolution issue is at the cutting edge of this battle”.

    I looked around a while for that quote, it’s here (in case anyone else is interested):
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2006/1105dolphin-legs.asp

    They have a link to Whale evolution on that page. I had to laugh at this quote:

    “The lack of transitional forms in the fossil record was realized by evolutionary whale experts like the late E.J. Slijper: ‘We do not possess a single fossil of the transitional forms between the aforementioned land animals [i.e., carnivores and ungulates] and the whales.’3”

    Gee, that’s weird, I thought. Let’s find out more about that quote by clicking on the “3”. Oh gee, that quote is from a book published in 1962. I have to give them credit for using such a recent quote (only 44 years old, and that information is long out-of-date since lots has been learned about whale transitionals since then), afterall, their science is several centuries out-of-date.

  26. #26 Gene Goldring
    November 5, 2006

    Hopefully you didn’t mean my post wyomeg. Just in case, when I said “This cartoon page…” I meant the “answers” page. Sorry for any confusion.

    No creationist zone here. Atheist and damn proud of it. 🙂

  27. #27 April
    November 5, 2006

    “Oh gee, that quote is from a book published in 1962. I have to give them credit for using such a recent quote (only 44 years old, and that information is long out-of-date since lots has been learned about whale transitionals since then), afterall, their science is several centuries out-of-date.”

    I actually sent them some feedback on a different article saying something similar. They responded by sending a book and note to my mailbox. I should really make some scans of that book; they allege that I’m planting gay abortion trees in my heart (this is an illustration in the book) by questioning the currency of their sources.

  28. #28 CCP
    November 5, 2006

    I guess these are “vestigial,” but that’s not the point–they’re atavistic. Much cooler. One of Gould’s books of essays is titled after one he wrote on atavisms (Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes. I have an old newspaper photo I use in class of a humpback whale with hindlimbs; the femur and tibia are clearly shown. These are much more killer as quick “evidence for evolution”…the IDiots are always talking about loss of information, but when something lost COMES BACK…

  29. #29 CCP
    November 5, 2006

    Just now followed the link…can’t wait for the x-rays!

  30. #30 Mike
    November 6, 2006

    Isn’t the big news here the fact that a cetacean survived an encounter with the Japanese?

  31. #31 miko
    November 6, 2006

    who says it survived? i’d think it’d be on a japaneses ebay auction already into the millions of yen on who gets to tempura those suckers.

    Someone mentioned that atavisms such as this are an indicator of inbreeding or loss of genetic diversity. What’s the evidence for this? Are atavisms generally linked to genetic polymorphisms or are they developmental defects due to environment or other random events during embryogenesis? i’ve never heard of heritable atavisms. Maybe they can be triggered by environmental stresses that perturb development and unmask underlying variability that is normally suppressed during developmental… as has been shown in flies.

    Anyway, I’ve never heard of an atavism linked to deleterious mutations.

  32. #32 Dustin
    November 6, 2006

    That picture is blurry as heck…Any clearer pictures happen to be avalible?

    “I actually sent them some feedback on a different article saying something similar…they allege that I’m planting gay abortion trees in my heart (this is an illustration in the book) by questioning the currency of their sources.” Haha. Sounds like another wonderful answer from Genesis. I remember one of the comics there about..Genesis, actually, that painted Tyrannosaurus Rex as a gigantic daemon from hell. Good stuff there.

  33. #33 Lab Lemming
    November 6, 2006

    Australian aboriginies traditionally drown dugongs by turning them upside down and holding their tails up so the head is submerged. Looks like the Japanese have forgone the exploding harpoon for the more traditional approach.

  34. #34 Ichthyic
    November 6, 2006

    While fascinating for providing more evidence of the mechanism of evolution, I suspect that it is actually evidence of a species under stress.

    Studies I was involved with a long time ago (about 20 years ago)on organophosphate contamination in Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins revealed very high levels (higher than for any previously recorded tissues from any mammal) for PCB’s and DDT metabolites (DDE).

    I’ve periodically checked over the last 20 years, and the situation does not seem to be improving much; many marine mammals are exhibiting signs of physiological stress that may be from high levels of organochlorine/phosphate residues. likely high levels of mercury too, but I never looked at those. preliminary work I was helping with about 10 years ago around Monterey Bay, CA, with elasmobranchs also revealed high levels of similar contaminants.

    However, I have no idea as to the likelihood of these kinds of toxics affecting expression of these particular traits.

    A lot more data would be needed, and apparently the condition is rare enough (in delphinids) that it would be difficult.

    I wonder if comparative tests for the effects of these kinds of contaminants in the development of other species that have dropped limbs might shed some light? That would be more PZ’s forte, I would think, and maybe he has some relevant references to share?

    IIRC in snakes, a Hox gene complex is involved in the expression of this trait. I don’t know if it is the same in delphinids, but maybe it would shed light on the situation if we did some developmental studies on snakes using similar concentrations of organochlorine/phosphate residues?

    just a thought.

  35. #35 Andrew Wade
    November 6, 2006
    drag force is proportional to both surface area and the square of velocity.

    Isn’t it proportional to surface area and velocity?

    It depends. It’s roughly proportional to speed at low speeds, and roughly proportional to the square of speed at high speeds. Dolphin travel at “high speeds” when it comes to drag on flukes.

  36. #36 Joe
    November 6, 2006

    OOOO, let us take this great discovery and quickly use it to rack up another point on the evolution score board only to later be sadly disappointed that it lends us no further proof to evolution than “Lucy” or “Neanderthal Man”.
    Come on people, let’s get real and quit sightlessly grasping for evidence. Find us something UNDINIABLE if that’s what evolution is.

    ” It is the height of bigotry to teach only one theory of origin.”
    Clarence Daryl

  37. #37 Ichthyic
    November 6, 2006

    Come on people, let’s get real and quit sightlessly grasping for evidence. Find us something UNDINIABLE[sic] if that’s what evolution is.

    uh, joe, not that you would have anything intelligent to respond with, and not that this particular data point is anything but a curiosity raiser to see if delphinids share similar developmental pathways to other legless wonders, like snakes, but your post begs the question:

    what would you consider “undiniable” evidence?

    (guess: you’re gonna say something stupid, like a dog giving birth to a cat, right?)

  38. #38 Magnus
    November 6, 2006

    I suppose you are trying to quote Clarence Darrow, not Daryl. You might want to check your sources on that one Joe. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/darrow.html

    Come on, let’s get real and quit grasping for sourceless quotes, and find something that actually undermines the theory.

    Creationists are so dumb sometimes.
    Well, most of the time.

  39. #39 Kseniya
    November 6, 2006

    It’s so heartwarming to see that the promotion of ignorance is “for the kids.”

  40. #40 Joe
    November 6, 2006

    Oops, made a mistake and that I’ll admit to it, my bad Mr. Let’s Poke Fun at People Magnus. You know that’s one of the main reasons I’m turned off with evolution. I’ve never had or seen a conversation with an evolutionist that doesn’t involve condescending remarks against the opposing side. Would one of you out there please prove to me that your not all a bunch of evolution “Pharisees” walking around in your robes of science (in by which the threads are constantly changing).
    And Ichthyic, show me some transitional fossils. If creatures evolved over millions of years, we should be literally tripping over thousands, perhaps millions of transitional forms. Yet here we are with a handful of possible maybes that are consistently disproved by secular scientists. Where are the thousands of fossils, Find me a couble hundred and I’ll start consider that undeniable.

    “I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them. You suggest that an artist should be used to visualise such transformations, but where would he get the information from? I could not, honestly, provide it, and if I were to leave it to artistic license, would that not mislead the reader?”
    -Dr. Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History, in letter to Luther Sunderland, April 10, 1979. Cited in: Sunderland, Luther D., Darwin’s Enigma: Fossils and Other Problems (El Cajon, CA: Master Books, 1988), p. 89.

  41. #41 Magnus
    November 6, 2006

    Maby the reason why you are turned off by evolution is that your arguments against it are paper thin and every time someone pokes a hole in them you need to consort to another misquote without checking the references.

    Again you fail to impress anyone with your eloquent typing of what someone else supposedly has said.
    And again I have to refer to talkorigins:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/patterson.html

  42. #42 Joe
    November 6, 2006

    Alright Magnus, way to avoid the question allow me to refer you back to it.
    WHERE ARE THE FOSSILS?

  43. #43 Steve_C
    November 6, 2006

    from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transitional_fossils

    It is commonly stated by anti-evolutionists that there are no known transitional fossils. This position is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of what represents a transitional feature. A common creationist argument is that no fossils are found with partially functional features. It is entirely plausible, however, that a complex feature with one function can adapt a wholly different function through evolution. The precursor to, for example, a wing, might originally have only been meant for gliding, trapping flying prey, and/or mating display. Nowadays, wings can still have all of these functions, but they are also used in active flight.

    Although transitional fossils elucidate the evolutionary transition of one life-form to another, they only exemplify snapshots of this process. Due to the special circumstances required for preservation of living beings, only a very small percentage of all life-forms that ever have existed can be expected to be discovered. Thus, the transition itself can only be illustrated and corroborated by transitional fossils, but it will never be known in detail. However, progressing research and discovery managed to fill in several gaps and continues to do so.

  44. #44 Magnus
    November 6, 2006

    Actually you asked Ichthyic that question, but since i’m such a nice, godless, evolutionary layman I’ll give you some references that I doubt will be accepted.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

    Notice to self: Must stop feeding the trolls.

  45. #45 Steve_C
    November 6, 2006

    It’s funny how creationists need hundreds of examples to prove evolution but only need the second hand accounts of 2000 year old cultists to believe that Jesus was the son of a god that has zero evidence of existing.

  46. #46 Stanton
    November 6, 2006

    Joe, perhaps if you didn’t wrap yourself in your ignorance and smugly call it “faith,” perhaps you’d be aware of various “transitional” organisms such as the four-legged whales, such as Ambulocetus and Pakicetus, as well as primitive, four-finned whales like Basilosaurus.

  47. #47 Joe
    November 6, 2006

    Steve, my man, blurp blurp. Thanks for proving my earlier point for everyone to see. Yes I need scientific evidence to back up a scientific theory, is that not science, where’d you come from? Jesus and God on the other hand is NOT science therefore I need no scientific proof for that now do I. The moment someone could put God into a test tube He would no longer be God. Magus I will read it, and I will consider and study the facts with more research. I’m not an evolutionist, I will consider opposing evidence.

  48. #48 Sotiris
    November 6, 2006

    So, Joe, in the good fight between the bible and human reason, which side are you on?

  49. #49 Steve_C
    November 6, 2006

    But you seem to ignore the evidence when it’s shown to you.
    And are willing to believe in something that has none.

    If a god created anything… there would be evidence.

    And there’s no such thing as evolutionist. It’s a false title.

  50. #50 Joe
    November 6, 2006

    Okay, I was going to go ahead and study the evidences but you keep giving me questions.
    Sotiris, human reason once told us the earth was flat, human reason once told us that we were the center of the universe, human reason is inherently selfish resulting in the rights and human dignity of some to be trampled by others asserting their own will–which to them seems reasonable. So I’ll side with the bible any day thanks.
    Steve, you’re killing me here man. Ignoring evidence? What about the evidence you ignore in the name of evolution? Now I know I’m about to open a can of worms here but, irreducible complexities. I’m guessing that the first fish to come crawling out of the goo said to himself, it would sure be nice to be able to breath some of that there air, I think I’ll go back to swimming until by random chance I start to develop the very lung that will drowned me in the water before I realize that I have it. Now before you fall back on the famous talk origins, been there done that.

    “We can summarize these four possibilities this way:
    * Previously using more parts than necessary for the function.
    * The parts themselves evolve.
    * Deployment of parts (gene regulation) evolves.
    * New parts are created (gene duplication) and may then evolve.”

    Theories 1 and 2, how do you start with complexity all at once and have parts to spare. You might as well say that humans were the first to crawl out of the goo and decided they were too complex and dropped parts until we were back to single celled organisms and then eventually found our original state. Evolution itself starts small and grows.
    Theories 3 and 4 do not deal with the problem of this living organism, whatever it may be, can not exist without everything it has in it’s current genetic makeup. Take the dragonfly, why has it not evolved? Is it the only creature perfect enough for it’s DNA to say “no reason for me to change, I’m good just the way I am”? The smallest of the small, amino acids need all that they have or they cease to live. Were did non-life become life and with all it’s complexities?

    Oh and I guess dictionary.com is run by ignorant hillbilly creationists because this is their definition of an evolutionist.

    ev‧o‧lu‧tion‧ist  /ˌɛvəˈluʃənɪst or, especially Brit., ˌivə-/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[ev-uh-loo-shuh-nist or, especially Brit., ee-vuh-] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    -noun
    1.a person who believes in or supports a theory of evolution, esp. in biology.
    2.a person who supports a policy of gradual growth or development rather than sudden change or expansion.
    -adjective Also, ev‧o‧lu‧tion‧is‧tic.
    3.of or pertaining to evolution or evolutionists.
    4.believing in or supporting a theory of evolution, esp. in biology.

  51. #51 Kseniya
    November 6, 2006

    Joe, you’re an amazing creature.

    Ever heard of a lungfish?

    Ever heard of Galileo?

    Do you have a sense of irony?

    Have you ever considered the vast array of light-sensing organs of varying complexity currently on display in the animal kingdom?

    What Steve_C said is true. Self-evidently true. How can you sanely deny it, let alone imply it’s an insult?

    What do Creationists and Dominionists have in common?

    Answer: An remarkable capacity to unquestioningly accept as immutable fact things for which there in no evidence whatsoever, while stubbonly ignoring evidence that supports ideas to which they object and which they do not fully understand. Instead, they make up their own “evidence” to the contrary (e.g. fictional, distorted, or badly misrepresented quotations) and try, with a straight face, to pass it off as fact.

  52. #52 Steve_C
    November 6, 2006

    There’s no proof or evidence if irreducible complexity. There’s no science there.

    Of course dragonflies have evolved… why do you assume they haven’t?

    Also not everything in your genetic makeup is required for your survival or continued existence. Humans still have an appendix but it’s useless now.

    I screwed up. Darwinist is a false title. And some throw around evolutionist like it a belief based on faith. It’s not.

  53. #53 Mr. Hanson
    November 6, 2006

    This just seems like a Hox gene mutation expressing fins in the wrong location. Not much more. I doubt the x-rays will reveal much more than that. Much like fruits flys with extra pairs of wings and cows with an extra pair of legs. This situation is quite common, but probably the first time it has been dicovered in a marine animal. It would be much more convicing if they actually looked like legs with flexible joints and if they were connected to the axial skeleton. But for the most part (for now) they are just fins. But evolutionits are willing to grasp at anything. This really doesn’t prove anything anymore than Polydactyls prove that humans once had six digits on their hands or feet. But I guess you’re minds are made up. Anyone that doesn’t accept your meaningless and purposless world view is
    an absolute idiot.

  54. #54 Mr. Hanson
    November 6, 2006

    Oh I love this quote!

    “So, Joe, in the good fight between the bible and human reason, which side are you on?”

    I guess human reasoning supercedes hope,meening and purpose. I guess supercedes guilt, love, and all thoes things which cannot be explained by science. If human reason is the end result of accumulative random mutations and therefore not designed, how do you know you can trust it?

  55. #55 Uber
    November 6, 2006

    Man, I have never seen ignorance and I mean rank ignorance as displayed by the creationists in this thread. Their stupidity is almost painful to read.

    human reason once told us the earth was flat, human reason once told us that we were the center of the universe, human reason is inherently selfish resulting in the rights and human dignity of some to be trampled by others asserting their own will–which to them seems reasonable. So I’ll side with the bible any day thanks.

    More than a few thought the Earth was flat because of the bible. More than a few, actually most, thought the Earth was the center of the universe- again from the bible.

    Human reason is what keeps human dignity alive along with compassion for our fellow man. Before talking about the bible as a source of anything find an agreed upon version. And by stating you’ll side with the bible you are simply siding with the men that wrote it. Which seems an odd position seeing how we don’t know who most of them where.

  56. #56 Steve_C
    November 6, 2006

    Yeah and fossils don’t prove evolution.

  57. #57 Uber
    November 6, 2006

    I guess human reasoning supercedes hope,meening and purpose.

    I don’t know what meening is but I guess you mean ‘meaning’. Why would reason not include hope and purpose? Why would that go away? An odd dicotomy you have set up there fella.

    I guess supercedes guilt, love, and all thoes things which cannot be explained by science.

    What makes you think they can’t be explained? They are a natural process brought about by physiological interactions.

    If human reason is the end result of accumulative random mutations and therefore not designed, how do you know you can trust it?

    It doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You provide evidence for your stances. How do you know you can trust whatever you trust in? Because someone told you?

  58. #58 Kseniya
    November 6, 2006

    Tsk.

    We’re talking about what science CAN tell us, not vague concepts like “meaning.” What will be your next argument? “The theory evolution doesn’t explain why the universe exists, and is therefore invalid?” Must we suffer that one again?

    Can love, meaning, and purpose explain the extra fins? No? Then why are you bringing them up?

    But while we’re on the subject of meaning: Hey, bud, if you can’t find meaning and purpose in life without clinging to some dusty old middle-eastern mythologies like a frightened toddler clinging to his mother’s leg, I pity you.

    That doesn’t mean they’re not true, of course. *cough*

    But do you really need them to find purpose and meaning in life? To know how to be a good person? To believe your own existence is a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the universe? I don’t.

  59. #59 Joe
    November 6, 2006

    Thank you Kseniya, I am an amazing creature, created in the image of God and so are you.
    Lungfish, which I’m sure will be a racoon by the time the year 2006,000 rolls around.
    Galileo? Your point? One man against a world of human reason.
    In this conversation I believe I can empathise with him.
    Light-sensing organs. Who can prove to me this is and evolved trait and not somthing that’s always been there?
    Dragonflies, I have held in my hands the fossil remains of a dragonfly and there are no differences that can be identified when compared to the ones we have flying around today.
    Mr. Hanson, if your going to saty in this chat get used to being the Galileo.

  60. #60 Numad
    November 6, 2006

    “If human reason is the end result of accumulative random mutations and therefore not designed, how do you know you can trust it?”

    The word “nihilism” comes to mind when I read things like this.

  61. #61 Joe
    November 6, 2006

    Oops, before anyone jumps on the make fun of Joe bandwagon I made the corrections in what was a quick response.

    Thank you Kseniya, I am an amazing creature, created in the image of God and so are you.
    Lungfish, which I’m sure will be a raccoon by the time the year 2006,000 rolls around.
    Galileo? Your point? One man against a world of human reason.
    In this conversation I believe I can empathize with him.
    Light-sensing organs. Who can prove to me this is and evolved trait and not something that’s always been there?
    Dragonflies, I have held in my hands the fossil remains of a dragonfly and there are no differences that can be identified when compared to the ones we have flying around today.
    Mr. Hanson, if your going to stay in this chat get used to being the Galileo.

  62. #62 Dave Godfrey
    November 6, 2006

    Why should they look like legs with joints. Why should they not look more like the last set of legs that the ancestor of the dolphins would have had? These limbs are the kind of things we’d expect to see in Basilosaurus or Dorodon. The hind legs of these animals were not attached to the axial skeleton.

    Dragonflies have certainly evolved since the Carboniferous, as have Lungfish and all the other “living fossils”. their gross morphology may have changed little (if you’re well adapted to your environment it doesn’t need to). But you can bet your life that they’ll have changed at a genetic level, dealing with diseases, parasites, and competing for mates.

  63. #63 Steve_C
    November 6, 2006

    Let’s give up on this one. He’s created in God’s image… who can argue with that?
    Why he doesn’t look like a pink unicorn? I don’t know.

  64. #64 Uber
    November 6, 2006

    Joe-

    You are not the Galileo you are those that opposed him. He would find your ilk to be his jailer and repugnant.

    Add in the fact that you don’t know what your talking about ensures you have nothing at all in common with those that used evidence and reason to tackle dogma and superstition.

  65. #65 Mr. Hanson
    November 6, 2006

    “Man, I have never seen ignorance and I mean rank ignorance as displayed by the creationists in this thread. Their stupidity is almost painful to read.”

    Typical “Creationists are stupid” argument put out by evolutionists. That definitely gets quite old and only hurts your position. The arrogance on this website is what is painful. But I don’t want to start the name calling game. That is for so called “enlightened evolutionists”.

    “More than a few thought the Earth was flat because of the bible”

    That is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Nowhere in the bible gives that idea. People believed the earth was flat because of their observation and lack of knowledge.

    *sigh*

    Oh by the way you just called Charles Babbage, Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell,Lord Kelvin, Michael Faraday, Gregor Mendel, Wernher von Braun, JRR Tolkien, James Irwin etc…, stupid.

  66. #66 CCP
    November 6, 2006

    all those guys were commenting on this thread? Alert the media at once!

    Ignorance =/= stupidity…many creationists are not, in fact, stupid.
    But it’s hard to avoid concluding that they’re ignorant.

  67. #67 Steve_C
    November 6, 2006

    Actually you are twisting that quite nicely. Just the Creationists on this thread are showing their stupidity. No one said ALL or throughout history.

    W.A.T.B.

  68. #68 Uber
    November 6, 2006

    That is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Nowhere in the bible gives that idea. People believed the earth was flat because of their observation and lack of knowledge.

    I agree that people chose that on their own and then backed it up using the four corners passages from the bible. And I agree it is ridiculous.

    Typical “Creationists are stupid” argument put out by evolutionists. That definitely gets quite old and only hurts your position. The arrogance on this website is what is painful. But I don’t want to start the name calling game.

    Well we could sit here on a blog and give you a biology lesson that clearly you didn’t comprehend during your schooling but personally I find it much easier to tell you your arguments are weak and your knowledge base pretty pathetic and yet you trudge into a biology blog and spew ignorance to those who know better. And then YOU talk about biologists being arrogant. What a load of crap and frankly it makes you a hypocrite.

    Charles Babbage, Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell,Lord Kelvin, Michael Faraday, Gregor Mendel, Wernher von Braun, JRR Tolkien, James Irwin etc…, stupid.

    No I didn’t.

  69. #69 Kseniya
    November 6, 2006

    Galileo? Your point? One man against a world of human reason.

    No… no… I can’t believe someone who is smart enough to use a computer could actually come up with something like that. Galileo’s views on heliocentricism were condemned by the Church because they contradicted Scripture.

  70. #70 Uber
    November 6, 2006

    You are correct CCP. I do not think creationists are stupid, but I do think they are very ignorant as displayed here. But I do think they are making stupid uninformed arguments here.

  71. #71 Ichthyic
    November 6, 2006

    This just seems like a Hox gene mutation expressing fins in the wrong location. Not much more.

    not much more?

    what the hell more would you want at that point, considering than in all analogous situations, it’s a hox gene complex that regulates development of limbs?

    I suggest you take a gander at the relevant sections on evolution and hox gene regulation (especially wrt limbless wonders like snakes), in a text like Scott Gilbert’s Developmental Biology

    or, just google for recent articles on the developmental basis for limb reduction.

    frankly, I think you haven’t a clue what that would mean, if it really is tied directly to a hox gene system.

  72. #72 Mr.Hanson
    November 6, 2006

    “I find it much easier to tell you your arguments are weak and your knowledge base pretty pathetic and yet you trudge into a biology blog and spew ignorance to those who know better. And then YOU talk about biologists being arrogant. What a load of crap and frankly it makes you a hypocrite.”

    There it is again. That same sort of attitude. I’m a person
    of faith so therefore I’m “ignorant” chant. I’m not trying to offend anyone, but I do get quite angry. Oh and I talk about ALL biologists being arrogant? As you people constantly state, if you don’t have common dissent with evolutionary biologists then I guess you’re not a true biologist. There are several PHD biologists that question evolutionary theory. A site like this lacks any sort of retraint of ridicule anyone of any faith. Anyone who objects or tries to defend their position is flamed. I should have known better. Especially from a blog of a professor who compares Abraham Lincoln with Hitler. How sad.

  73. #73 Joe
    November 6, 2006

    Ah yes let us critique scripture. I may not be a scientist, but you stepped in my territory when you decided come at me with scripture Uber, hold on tight.

    “I agree that people chose that on their own and then backed it up using the four corners passages from the bible. And I agree it is ridiculous.” Uber

    Revelation 7:1 (as your referring to says) And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth,…
    This is a reference to the cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west. Similar terminology is often used today when we speak of the sun rising and setting, even though the earth, not the sun, is doing the moving.

    These are passages taken from the Hebrew-English Bible/Meechon-Mamre translated by the Jewish Publication Society.

    Isaiah 40:21-22 Know ye not? hear ye not? Hath it not been told you from the beginning? Have ye not understood the foundations of the earth?: It is He that sitteth above the CIRCLE of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in;

    Proverbs 8:27 When He established the heavens, I was there; when He set a CIRCLE upon the face of the deep,

    Don’t blame the bible for people’s misinterpretations.

  74. #74 Uber
    November 6, 2006

    That same sort of attitude. I’m a person
    of faith so therefore I’m “ignorant” chant

    Now it’s not the faith that makes you ignorant it’s your alck of knowledge on the topic your speaking about and then telling folks that do they are wrong. And I’m not the least bit angry, quite the opposite amused rather.

    There are several PHD biologists that question evolutionary theory.

    So what? Every profession has it’s cranks. There are 1000’s upon 1000’s that don’t. So how can you mentioning a few make any substance of an argument at all?

    A site like this lacks any sort of retraint of ridicule anyone of any faith. Anyone who objects or tries to defend their position is flamed.

    I am a man who has faith. You got flamed because you spout ignorance about this topic.

  75. #75 Steve_C
    November 6, 2006

    You’re ignorant of biology and science.

    I glaze over whevever anyone starts quoting the bible.

    Where did PZ compare Hitler to Abraham Lincoln? Wasn’t Abe an atheist?

  76. #76 Joe
    November 6, 2006

    I wasn’t quoting the bible to you glazer.

  77. #77 Steve_C
    November 6, 2006

    Sure you were. It’s a comments section. Everyone is reading it.

  78. #78 Uber
    November 6, 2006

    I may not be a scientist, but you stepped in my territory when you decided come at me with scripture Uber, hold on tight

    Your right Joe I hadn’t heard that before. A person trying to tell someone exactly what a verse in the bible means. Ho-hum. I guess my years of studying it at university left me not knowing what you just typed.

    None of what you said about scripture matters in this discussion so essentially who cares? I already told you many people accepted a round earth and those that didn’t clearly had a different interpretation than you.

    Don’t blame the bible for people’s misinterpretations

    Right. It couldn’t be that it’s impossible for two men to agree on any of it because it simply is a hodge podge of material splattered together and accepted upon review by a vote.

    Oh and which bible?

  79. #79 Uber
    November 6, 2006

    I may not be a scientist, but you stepped in my territory when you decided come at me with scripture Uber, hold on tight

    Your right Joe I hadn’t heard that before. A person trying to tell someone exactly what a verse in the bible means. Ho-hum. I guess my years of studying it at university left me not knowing what you just typed.

    None of what you said about scripture matters in this discussion so essentially who cares? I already told you many people accepted a round earth and those that didn’t clearly had a different interpretation than you.

    Don’t blame the bible for people’s misinterpretations

    Right. It couldn’t be that it’s impossible for two men to agree on any of it because it simply is a hodge podge of material splattered together and accepted upon review by a vote.

    Oh and which bible?

  80. #80 Mr. Hanson
    November 6, 2006

    “not much more? what the hell more would you want at that point, considering than in all analogous situations, it’s a hox gene complex that regulates development of limbs?”

    I guess I have always thought that hox genes act as master switches. They determine where, during embryonic development limbs are expressed. Tinkering with these genes can cause an extra pair of wings on a fly to develope or an antenna to develope where an eye should be. Or a cow or cat
    developing an extra pair of legs. I have seen this phenomenon quite a few times. It is not uncommon. I’m just suggesting that there was this same sort of mutation in this dolphin causing fins (front fins, miniscule, malformed and underdeveloped) to be expressed in the wrong place. The same information duplicated for front fins. Nothing new. I’m not trying to say that as fact, but it could be a possible alternative to the “ancient limbs resurfacing” theory. All I see here is much celebration of victory over those stupid creationists without giving any consideration to the alternatives. I know Basilosaurus had hind limbs, but I doubt they were vestigial. Even a Charlie worshipping bible like National Geographic states they most likely served a function for mating. It’s not just creationists saying that.

  81. #81 Mr.Hanson
    November 6, 2006

    “Now it’s not the faith that makes you ignorant it’s your alck of knowledge on the topic your speaking about and then telling folks that do they are wrong.”

    Ok, sorry If came off as trying to tell everyone is wrong. But there is a constant vibe here. There is a steady stream of “creationists are ignorant” posts on these forums. I guess it just touched a nerve. I was just trying to defend my position. I guess I should have taken a chill pill before I first posted.

  82. #82 Steve_C
    November 6, 2006

    The ID alternative has no science backing it.
    No testable work has been done. It’s conjecture.

    What are the other alternatives to evolution?

  83. #83 Not Telling
    November 6, 2006

    Finally I close with a wonderful quote from the great P.Z Meyers….

    “I say, screw the polite words and careful rhetoric. It¹s time for scientists to break out the steel-toed boots and brass knuckles, and get out there and hammer on the lunatics and idiots.”

    August 4, 2005

    Hmm Typyical. If that doesn’t sound Jihadist, then I don’t know what does. Oh by the way replace the word scientists with “materialistic evangalists”. You wonder why you’re darwinistic views are becoming less popular. Just keep it up Meyers, you are doing us IDiots a huge favor.

  84. #84 PZ Myers
    November 6, 2006

    But, Mr Not Telling, you don’t seem to realize that I have access to all kinds of info about commenters, so I know that you are actually Mr Hanson. Do you think you’re fooling any one?

  85. #85 Baratos
    November 6, 2006

    “Hmm Typyical. If that doesn’t sound Jihadist, then I don’t know what does. Oh by the way replace the word scientists with “materialistic evangalists”. You wonder why you’re darwinistic views are becoming less popular. Just keep it up Meyers, you are doing us IDiots a huge favor.”

    Not Telling, you could take quotes from just about anybody that sounds jihadist. “Give me liberty or give me death” seems to describe a form of suicide bomber for example. Okay, a very odd suicide bomber I admit.

    And “materialistic evangelist”? If I am a materialist, I am quite sure that the things we can measure do exist. For example, I am pretty sure I exist. If you cannot measure something, ever, why should a person immeadiately assume it does exist? I dont trust people who make big assumptions in their view of reality without any evidence. If someone is ready to believe in some kind of sky fairy for no reason, what is to stop them from deciding the sky fairy wants them to start killing people? This is what happens in the mind of the typical jihadist.

  86. #86 Ichthyic
    November 6, 2006

    Don’t blame the bible for people’s misinterpretations.

    don’t blame people for the bible’s misinterpretations, either, right?

    or should we just blame you?

    the translators?

    King James?

  87. #87 Ichthyic
    November 6, 2006

    I guess I have always thought that hox genes act as master switches. They determine where, during embryonic development limbs are expressed. Tinkering with these genes can cause an extra pair of wings on a fly to develope or an antenna to develope where an eye should be. Or a cow or cat
    developing an extra pair of legs. I have seen this phenomenon quite a few times. It is not uncommon. I’m just suggesting that there was this same sort of mutation in this dolphin causing fins (front fins, miniscule, malformed and underdeveloped) to be expressed in the wrong place. The same information duplicated for front fins.

    Nothing new.

    the question is, in looking at other vertebrates we see homologous hox systems controlling limb development. Hence your “nothing new” statement glosses over the most important part, the fact that there are conserved systems regulating this trait that are common to many vertebrates.

    are you really telling me you don’t see the implications of that?

    again, it does appear you are perhaps missing the whole point, to put it mildly.

    It’s like saying there is nothing significant in the pattern of breakage in the vitamin C gene in primates.

    “well, chimps and humans both have a broken vitamin C psuedogene, so what’s new?”

    does that make it somewhat clearer for you?

  88. #88 Ichthyic
    November 6, 2006

    … we can learn from abberations like this specific example, whether or not homologous patterns in development are seen here as in other vertebrates.

    so, yeah, considering we can’t normally run experiements with mutagens on dolphins to see the effects on development, even single data points like this are valuable in teasing out relationships.

    it doesn’t matter if it’s a mutation (of course it is, duh), it’s how the mutation affected development that is of interest.

    we learn tons about development by “breaking stuff”, or didn’t you catch the alcohol effects on development thread PZ posted a couple weeks back?

    or, hell, read Gilbert’s devo text.

  89. #89 Ichthyic
    November 6, 2006

    as to:

    I know Basilosaurus had hind limbs, but I doubt they were vestigial. Even a Charlie worshipping bible like National Geographic states they most likely served a function for mating. It’s not just creationists saying that.

    you might want to gander at this article:

    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1525-142X.2004.04008.x?cookieSet=1&journalCode=ede

    besides, even taking your argument at face value, have you ever heard of a thing called co-option?

    why would you conclude vestigial limbs couldn’t be used as mating aids as well?

    the two are not mutually exclusive.

  90. #90 JackGoff
    November 7, 2006

    Don’t blame the bible for people’s misinterpretations.

    Um, what about Joshua and Jericho and the Sun standing still? This was central to the argument against Galileo.

    And also, since the Bible is the source of people’s “misinterpretations,” and God is omnipotent and omniscient, shouldn’t he have known that people would have misinterpreted him? I mean, the Bible has been used to justify slavery, capital punishment, and slaughter of the Jews in European pogroms. Would you argue that God wanted these things to happen? Your God is obviously a sadistic being. I mean, he knows what he was doing, right?

    Also, do you know what a “firmament” is and it’s relation to early Jewish and Christian history? Because it isn’t the universe as we know it to be.

    Last, but not least, taking the Bible as literal fact, the universe is only 6000 years old. So how can we see stars that are more than 6000 light years away? And if you say “A day to God is longer than our day,” then God has an exceptionally poor grasp of human language for a supreme being.

  91. #91 Joe
    November 7, 2006

    JackGoff
    “Your God is obviously a sadistic being. I mean, he knows what he was doing, right?”
    Of course God knows what He is doing, but do you. Don’t base God’s identity off of mans selfishness and stupidity. We were made in His image, unfortunately, the qualities that make Him God we chose to shed. Although I’m sure some believe they are gods. And before someone throws a hissy, I’m not implying any of you.
    And along these same lines Ichthyic, yes blame me, blame me all you want, but don’t blame my God. And quit assuming I’m some king of King James only fanatic. I read many different translations but when I study I go to the Hebrew and Greek. That’s what scientists do, when something is misinterpreted and the formula’s not quite working out, you go back to the very basic structure that’s be proven over and over to work and start from there. Now whether or not the scientist chooses to use the science for good or evil is up to him, it does not the reflect the science itself. A bit philosophical but you get what I mean. Men have used the name of God to do many horrifying things no doubt. This does not mean God is horrible. I’m not trying to convince you of His existence here, but I am giving you my point of view. That is what blogs are for right.
    Look I have know reserves in saying that I’m sure you all are intelligent, educated, and moral people, but when someone voices an apposing view, act like it. Name me one situation where throwing insults at someone has resolved an issue. Good grief just turn on the TV it’s enough to drive you nuts with all the political adds throwing insults at one another.
    You have to drowned all of that out and vote for the issues because the people running obviously have more negative material on the opposed than positive on themselves.
    This being my last post I will speak my mind on the issue the best I can. Evolution vs. creation will never cease to exist. As long as people have hope in something more than being the result of a random chance and as long as we continue to walk through the greatest museums in the world with no more proof to evolution than illustrations of missing links drafted from fragments of skeletal remains, (and don’t say that’s false, I’ve been in museums all around the world, I’ve seen them) this will remain a debate, and sadly for PZ and his subjects, will be pushed into the classroom.
    I believe it was you yourself who said “If you don’t care enough for the truth to fight for it, then get out of the way.”, so PZ the fight continues.

  92. #92 Sotiris
    November 7, 2006

    Joe,

    “So I’ll side with the bible [against human reason] anytime thanks”

    Thanks man, that’s all I wanted to know. 🙂

    Seriously, now:

    What was it that made us assume (and then prove) that the earth is round? Human reason, or the bible?

    What was it that made us assume (and then prove) that we are not the center of the universe? Human reason, or the bible?

    Finally, on what grounds do you consider human reason (not emotions or instincts) to be more “selfish” than “go and slaughter babies because I say so, and what I say is right” bible? Reason does not help you justify your actions by saying you are better than everyone else, or that you belong to the ‘I’m right’ club; Quite the contrary. Guess what people used, throughout the ages, to do that?

  93. #93 Sotiris
    November 7, 2006

    Joe,

    Evolution, unfortunately for you, is and will remain a fact. Just because you roam around in museums, unable to understand how paleontologists (who dedicated their whole life in the pursuit of knowledge through their field) can discover all the amazing evidence for common descent under the rocks, and bust their ass working to reconstruct the past from these fragments, that doesn’t diminish their accomplishment; it just shows you are the least qualified person to judge them.
    And as long as people just as unqualified and ignorant as you try, instead of actually trying to do science, to push their crumbling relics of views straight to the classroom, using politicians and lawyers, they will always fail*, and their beliefs will seem more and more absurd, and will get pushed deeper and deeper into the realm of the occult and bizzare, providing nothing but mild entertainment.

    Sorry. But if you don’t want your grandchildren to call you a cook, you might want to jump off that wagon while you still can.

    (*) At least in a non-faschist society. But, if that were the case, our problems would be much worse than having to defend ol’Darwin… >:(

  94. #94 Ichthyic
    November 8, 2006

    This being my last post

    anybody taking bets on that?

  95. #95 Weldun
    November 10, 2006

    Okay, I’m comming into this a little late, but here goes.
    Firstly, a statement of position.
    I am a Taoist and an “Evolutionist”, but I also beleive in God. The evolutionary model does not obviate the existence of God, it simply does not require the existence of God.

    Now, whenever a Creationist uses the “lack of fossils” argument, I point out that definite fossil records of the change would require that change to occur over a relatively long period. If the change occured over a relatively short period, say less than 100,000 years, we could very well “lose” many of the transitory fossils. There is also the problem of marine fossilization, which would take far more time than I care to devote to a single post, but suffice it to say that there’s a reason why most fossils that are discovered are of land-dwelling creatures.

    Quite simply, this argument insults my intelligence. It attempts to debate the Evolution model by saying that there is not enough evidence when there is even less to support the Creation model. “Intelligent Design?” I know several scientists who are also devout Christians (who constantly try to convert me as I am “just one step away”) who feel insulted on two fronts by this model, considering an afront not only to their intelligence, but also to their faith. They support the evolution model as an affirmation of their faith, showing that God’s wisdom is such that he/she can start the process of non-life into life, and be sure that with only a few extra nudges will arive at the result she/he desired. Now THAT’S “Intelligent Design!”

  96. #96 Drhoz!
    November 11, 2006

    Um.. Weldun? Most fossils that turn up are of marine animals. They just don’t get the same press as the big terrestrial stuff. sorry.

  97. #97 Weldun
    November 13, 2006

    I live and learn.

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