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Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

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Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.
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he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

This is a discussion between me and a creationist that personal messaged me on Youtube. I want to post it here for the members of this forum to critique it. I would love to hear opinions about it. I am not sure if the discussions will continue, it is up to the creationist to message me back. I will update it whenever a new message is sent.

My handle on Youtube is jebus6kryst and the creationist's handle is Remensum.

Remensum wrote:No pithecanthropes

I take it you are aware that the "transitional taxa" between the australopithecines and humans are no more?

Paleaontologists now accept that Homo habilis/rudolfensis were contemporaneous with very human-like Homo ergaster/erectus (Turkana Boy) and really no different from the gracile australoopithecines.

Yes, more fossils have emerged...but the pattern of descent has collapsed.

If you need the citations, just ask.

Aug 20, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: No pithecanthropes

Sorry I took so long to respond. I was in the middle of moving.
You are correct. A. habilis most likely lived with early Homo and was not the transitional form between the Australopiths and Homo. No citations needed because I remember reading about that when I first started college. You are not saying anything new. What is your point?
Do you really think that the theory of evolution hinged on A. habilis leading to the genus Homo? Alternatively, if we found the link between Australopiths and Homo would you accept evolution? Furthermore, the pattern of descent did not collapse with those findings, it only shows that old ideas were wrong and we do not have an accurate picture of the link between Australopith and Homo. This is not a shortcoming of the theory of evolution; it is a shortcoming of the geological record.
Can you do me a favor? Please define evolution in a biological context. The reason I ask this is that I have noticed that people that argue against evolution usually do not know the first thing about it.

Aug 28, 2010


Remensum wrote:Re: Re: No pithecanthropes

I am suggesting that there still exists no missing link between humans and their 'ape-like ancestors' It was Wood and Collard who first suggested that H habilis should be reclassified as A habilis (yes, citations are necessary in science):

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/a ... 84/5411/65

The more work done on the Dmanisi fossils show them to be fully human, although likely symptomatic of a pathological condition like 'Homo floresiensis' which was found to be a cretinous Homo sapiens.

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Ad ... ne.0013018

The theory of evolutionism is in ruins....it must be allowed to wither and die.

Oct 31, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: No pithecanthropes

I am still waiting for you to define evolution in a biological context. Until that happens, it will be hard to discuss this subject.

Furthermore, when I stated "no citation needed" I was referring to the fact that I did not need you to cite the articles about the age of A. habilis. I have already read them. You also did not answer my questions I asked when referring to A. habilis as well so I will repost them.

"Do you really think that the theory of evolution hinged on A. habilis leading to the genus Homo? Alternatively, if we found the link between Australopiths and Homo would you accept evolution?"

Now you are claiming that we have no fossils between humans and our last common ancestor with other apes. Surely, you jest. Have you forgotten all of the Australopithecine species that fit neatly into cladistical analyses?

Beyond that, it seems you are now claiming that the hominins discovered in Dmanisi were fully human. However, this claim goes un-cited. I wonder why? Could it be because the Dmanisi species illustrate a perfect transitional step between A. afarensis and H. erectus (Pontzer et al., 2010) or that the brains size of the Dmanisi species are smaller than any H. sapiens (Rightmire et al., 2006)? Their average brain size is smaller than H. erectus.

Furthermore, thank you for the Oxnard et al. paper, which was a very interesting read. They make a great argument. However, you do understand that even if the specimens on Flores were discovered to be a pathological H. sapiens that it would do nothing to disprove evolution, right? Oxnard et al. (2010) even agree that the jury is still out about the specimens found on Flores to determine if they are a new species or a pathological H. sapiens. They are just pointing out a hypothesis about these fossils that they are hoping to test against future discoveries.

In my opinion, finding more specimens is the key to the debate about H. floresiensis.

Citations

Oxnard C, Obendorf PJ, Kefford BJ, 2010 Post-Cranial Skeletons of Hypothyroid Cretins Show a Similar Anatomical Mosaic as Homo floresiensis. PLoS ONE 5(9): e13018. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013018
Pontzer H, Bolian C, Rightmire, G, Jashashvili T, Ponce M, de Leon, P, Lordkipanidze D, & Zollikofer C. Locomotor anatomy and biomechanics of the Dmanisi hominins. Journal of Human Evolution. P. 492 -- 504
Rightmire,G.P.,Lordkipanidze,D.,Vekua,A.,2006.Anatomicaldescriptions, comparativestudiesandevolutionarysignificance of thehomininskullsfrom Dmanisi, RepublicofGeorgia.J.Hum.Evol.50,115e141.

Oct 31, 2010


Remensum wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: No pithecanthropes

Let me say that I accept 'evolution' as a fact if it means the change in allelic frequencies over time. There is indeed a process of variation and selection in biology that contributes to some changes and adaptations.

But the theory of evolution goes beyond that - it insists that this observed process is responsible for all of the diversity of life and the entire proliferation of genetic information since the birth of the hypothetical last universal common ancestor (LUCA).

I see this as a *massive* extrapolation that is scientifically unsupported.

Now, if there were a true intermediate between 'apes' and 'humans' found repeatedly in the fossil record then I would have to concede that evolution is plausible. If the evolutionist hoax in 'Piltdown man' were not a forgery, then I would have to regard this as good evidence.

Unfortunately, the Dmanisi fossils (which are found in the wrong part of the world anyway) just don't do it. The Pontzer paper you cite reports that "the Dmanisi hind limb was functionally similar to modern humans, with a longitudinal plantar arch, increased limb length, and human-like ankle morphology."

The efforts to show that the Dmanisi people walked in a different way to modern humans has also been disputed.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 7/abstract

and it has been found their spines were "thoroughly modern":

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Evolution ... 0146741834

"The Dmanisi spinal column falls within the human range and would have comfortably accommodated a modern human spinal cord."

Yes, the brain size for two of the specimens (600-650cc) is very small but I suspect these were just microcephaliacs - one of them is missing his/her teeth. If we accept that the tiny-brained Homo floresiensis ( 340cc) is just a modern human with a pathological condition then we should not make too much emphasis on brain size.

Unfortunately, the Dmanisi remains expose the inanity of the evolutionist claims. They find something and declare it to be some great missing link. They THEN do the research and it looks less and less "transitional". We saw this with IDA and we saw this with A sediba. It is getting really annoying and tiresome.

Nov 01, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No pithecanthropes

Great, you know and accept the biological definition of evolution. Given that definition can you please explain to me the mechanism that stops it? You believe for some reason that evolution cannot produce life as we know it from the LUCA, yet provide no evidence to support that claim.

Humans are apes; we belong to the family Hominidae. Furthermore, we have many transitional fossils, such as the Australopiths, the Ardipiths, and several earlier species of Homo. Again, to rephrase my question: do you really believe that finding human transitional fossils is what the theory of evolution is hinging upon? You do realize that fossil evidence is only one piece of evidence that supports evolution. It is not even the best we have. There is far more genetic evidence.

Furthermore, Piltdown man? Really? You might want to get up to date on current debate in anthropological circles. You do not want to embarrass yourself.

First off, wrong part of the world? Where is it written in stone that the transitional fossils had to be found in Africa? Paleoanthropologists only believed that the fossil should be found in Africa, finding them in Dmanisi means nothing.

Second, Nice quote mine of the abstract (did you even read the article?), but in the very next sentence it states. "Other aspects of the foot, specifically metatarsal morphology and tibial
torsion, are less derived and similar to earlier hominins." Exactly as I stated.

Apparently, you did not read my source, nor the one you linked (seeing in that the one I linked to was the response to the paper you are citing). Furthermore, walking with more medial oriented feet would not be much different from a modern H. sapiens walk. That was not the point of the paper I cited. The point was that their feet are basal when compared to H. sapiens and earlier hominins. Thus the reason why the Dmanisi specimens represent a transition between the Australopiths and H. erectus.

I was not arguing about their spine, so I do not see the relevance of that comment. Of course a transitional specimen is going to have elements of what it once was and what it is to become.

You make another claim and provide no evidence to support it. What authority do you have to suspect that the Dmanisi specimens suffered any pathology? Tooth loss and rre-absorption of the bone that make up the jaw are expected from elderly individuals.

It would seems that the research being done on the Dmanisi specimens supports that it is a great example of a transitional fossil. I do agree with you about Ida and A. sediba, but scientist who cared more about making money than the science discovered both those. Both are examples of the scientists running to the press with something before their results are carefully vetted. The Dmanisi specimens are nothing like that. The Ardipithecus discovery was nothing like that.

Do you have any real arguments to make?

Nov 01, 2010


Remensum wrote:The hard facts

Obviously, you haven't read the literature which lists the myriad of natural limits to biological change. I don't have the time to give you a lecture, but I would hope you realize that variations on the same theme do not lead to new themes. If I were to tinker and tweak a gene coding for a digestive enzyme (protease) it is never ever going to become one for a light-sensitive protein (opsin). I have an accepted paper whose proofs are being prepared right now which shows this to be the case. I will send you the link when it is done. It effectively destroys much of the arguments of the Neo-Darwinists.

I'm sorry but there is no anagenetic relationship between the Ardipiths and Australopiths. That much has indeed been established. The theory of human evolution does require a nice sequence of transition to be found in the fossil record. 'Piltdown Man' was the worst hoax in science but the evolutionists just want to ignore this fact.

The Dmanisi fossils might be significant if they were found in East Africa. They were instead found in Georgia. This has led people to speculate that Homo habilis left Africa, evolved into Homo ergaster and then returned to Africa - complete nonsense.

The claim about their feet being more 'basal' is unsubstantiated. I read the paper and the authors state that "while Dmanisi metatarsal morphology differs somewhat from that of later Homo ,the Dmanisi foot appears functionally similar to that of modern humans. Among our comparative sample, the size and morphology of the Dmanisi talus is most like that of African H. erectus and modern humans."

http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~hpontzer/P ... hanics.pdf

Note that these scientists are desperately trying to spin the case for transition but are clutching at straws and minor differences. If you want to ignore the spine which is thoroughly modern then wallow in your own ignorance.

If you consider yourself to be an 'ape', I think you should mention this to your health insurers. It could lower your premiums as you would only need to see a qualified vet.

Nov 02, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: The hard facts

Nope I have not. Would you mind citing a few of those sources for me? I mean this should be easy since you are writing a paper about it. Most of the sources you used for it should be the same, no? Until that is done, I will just say claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. By the way, what journal are you submitting your paper too?

Well no shit there is not an anagenetic relationship between any fossil groups and living groups. That is not how evolution works and no one expects it to work that way. We are lucky to have fossils in the first place. Moreover, you are right; we know that many of the fossils could not lead to an anagenetic lineage for the simple fact that they are fossils of juveniles (e.g. Taung Child). You are creating a straw man.

Again, I must ask, why do you believe fossils are needed to prove any evolution, let alone human? We have enough genetic evidence to show human evolution and our relationship to other primates. Fossils are not needed, but I do think they are a lot of fun to dig up and look at.

Piltdown Man could have been the worse scientific hoax in history; I will give you that. It is a good thing that Paleoanthropologists using the theory of evolution exposed it as a hoax. Not one creationist involved.

Complete nonsense, why? Because you say so? What are your qualifications for making this statement? As I stated before the idea that the genus Homo evolving in Africa was not set in stone. They could have evolved anywhere and Georgia is not that far from Africa, where earlier hominins are found. Now if we were to find these specimens in South America, you would have a case.

That quote you provided from the article is golden. I do not understand the point of you quoting it to me when it supports my position. I think it might be that you do not realize that there are seven bones in a human foot (sic), not counting the toes. In addition, I do not think you realize that the quote covers exactly what I was stating. The talus is derived whereas the metatarsals are basal. Thank you for helping my argument and undermining your own. I could not have done it better myself.

I will wallow in the fact that something that is transitional has features of what it once was and what it is becoming. I guess you really do not understand what a transitional fossil would look like. The spine being derived and the feet being basal is exactly what we would expect. Again, thank you for undermining your own argument and strengthening mine.

Your appeal to ridicule only exposes your own ignorance of biology. Do you not agree with the classification of humans in the clade Hominidae? What evidence do you have to show that humans do not belong to this clade and what clade should they be in? Furthermore, how far back are you willing to argue that point? Do you not accept that humans are also primates, mammals, vertebrates, or animals?

Nov 02, 2010


Remensum wrote:Re: Re: The hard facts

Well, I suggest you read my paper if you can't be be bothered to do some basic research. If you like, I can email a private copy to you if you provide an address. As I say, the paper has been accepted by the journal Complexity and will soon be published by Wiley.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/ ... ation.html

It demonstrates hat evolution at the level of genetics is extremely limited.

Now, if you believe that your precious theory does not require actual physical evidence to substantiate its spurious claims, then you are clearly not interested in science. The "fake apemen" video you responded to was spot on in debunking the nonsense about various fossil finds being missing links and direct ancestors. I remember being "taught" in school about how I was descended from Ramapithecus ( now known to be an ancient pongid).

You are focusing on one feature of the Dmanisi foot morphology that you interpret as fitting in with your own concept of primitive/derived traits. There is nothing to suggest the Dmanisi humans walked any differently than Homo ergaster in Africa:

Bennett, MR et al (2009). Early Hominin Foot Morphology Based on 1.5-Million-Year-Old Footprints from Ileret, Kenya Science Vol. 323. no. 5918, pp. 1197 -- 1201

These are essentially the same as those made by Homo sapiens.

The term "hominidae" is just taxonomical verbiage. Humans are NOT apes because they are :

i) Obligate bipeds
ii) Cannot brachiate.
iii) Cannot knuckle-walk
iv) Can use speech and language
v) Have semi-circular canals not suited for arboreal life.
vi) Are fully dextrous.

There are many more differences beyond these basic distinctions. The fact is that apes are arboreal creatures whereas we are terrestrial. Even those apes, such as Patas monkeys, that live on the ground retain their ape morphologies and behavior.

Nov 04, 2010

jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: The hard facts

I can be bothered. Like I said in my previous message, please provide the citations you are talking about and I will look into them. Until that is done, I will simply state this again; claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. However, I do look forward to reading your paper when it is published.

The theory of evolution has a lot of physical evidence, the fossil record being just one piece. I never said it did not need any physical evidence. I simply pointed out that fossil evidence is not the best evidence we have. We have genetic and taxonomical evidence as well. If we did not have fossils of these hominins, we still would have evidence such as atavisms and ERVs to support the theory of evolution, not to mention all the observed speciation events.

I must say I love this statement from you: "I remember being 'taught' in school about how I was descended from Ramapithecus (now known to be an ancient pongid)." It seems like you are upset that science is a self-correcting process. Would you rather the anthropologists remained wrong and dogmatic about their beliefs like religion? New findings overturn old ideas in science, which is how science works.

This is the second (maybe third) time I have told you this, having basal metatarsals does not mean the hominins that possessed them walked any different from a modern human. That was not the point of the paper I cited you or the paper you cited back in response. Both of them agree that their walking pattern would have been essentially modern. You claimed to have read both the papers and if that is true, I must ask you to work on your reading comprehension.

Furthermore, of course the foot morphology made by H. erectus/ergaster would be essentially like H. sapiens, H. sapiens and H. erectus are identical (besides the robustness of the bones in H. erectus) post-cranially. What is the relevance of that paper to this discussion?

Humans are apes because they belong to the clade Hominoidea, there is a lot more to that than just taxonomical verbiage. Furthermore, I have to laugh at your claim of humans not being able to brachiate. Have you never seen kids playing on monkey bars? What do you think they are doing? I also laughed at your claim that all apes knuckle-walk. Orangutans and gibbons do not knuckle-walk (not to mention many of the fossil apes we have that did not knuckle-walk). Anyone taking a basic introductory level biological/physical anthropology class could have told you that.

Furthermore, you go on to expose your ignorance by stating that the Patas monkeys are apes. I have to say, that made me laugh the hardest. Can you not tell the difference between Cercopithecidae and Hominoidea? Now I must ask, are you familiar with cladistics? In addition, what are your qualifications for discussing hominin and primate evolution again? In order to understand the classification of Hominidae you need to know some basic facts about primates and cladistics. This message alone leads me to believe that you do not possess either.

Nov 04, 2010


Remensum wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: The hard facts

You do realize that the "genetic evidence" cannot count. You can't say that because we share 50% of our DNA with a banana that we also share a common ancestor with a banana.We would expect to share more of our DNA in common with a chimp than with an amoeba - including ERVs because we would then share a common susceptibility. That doesn't prove anything. Anyway, for all the talk of a universal common descent, the theory of evolution simply simply simply cannot reconstruct a common ancestry at the molecular level. I challenge you or anyone else to provide a cladogram showing all the genes in the genome descending from a universal proto-ancestor gene.

And, yes, science is self-correcting but you don't expect to learn that pretty much everything you were taught at school has been overturned. How would you feel if you were among those kids lied to about 'Piltdown man' or 'Nebraska man'? If the evidence is still in flux and isn't well supported why is it included in the school curriculum?

Thank you for admitting that the post-cranial differences between 'Homo ergaster' and 'Homo sapiens' are minimal. The paper is significant because Turkana boy's feet were never preserved when he was dug up in 1984. And the fact is that Homo ergaster/erectus were cranio-dentally very similar to modern humans as well - with an endocranial capacity at the lower end of the Homo sapiens range (750-1250cc) compared to (900-1800cc).

The term "ape" is not a 'scientific' term. If I referred to Patas monkeys as 'apes' it is only to lump them in with their wider *kind*. Gibbons are known as "lesser apes" but are very monkey-like in appearance. Gorillas, macaques, chimps, bonobos, gibbons, baboons are all the same class of arboreal primate with distinctive features that we don't have.

The fact is that we are obligate bipeds - we use only one form of locomotion. Of course, if we were stupid we could try knuckle-walking or swinging from the trees but we are not *designed* for that kind of locomotion. The shoulder blades, ears and wrists of 'apes' are.

Nov 04, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The hard facts

Your understanding of the genetic evidence seems very limited. I am going to provide a video on how cladograms are created since I am no authority on the matter. That should clear up the issues you seem to be having with your understanding of how genetic evidence is interpreted. Furthermore, most cladograms created are based on genetic evidence. Therefore, your claim that universal common descent not being shown is simply false.

I agree. You do not expect everything that you were taught in school to be over turned. Yet it happens (e.g. Relativity). Science does not stand still and science does not knock on your door and tell you that things are changing. If you want to know the latest scientific knowledge, you have to actively seek it out. I graduated from high school five years ago and I do not expect everything I learned there to be set in stone and immutable.

First off, if I were one of those students lied to about Piltdown Man; I would feel that whoever preformed that hoax is nothing more than a charlatan. However, I would be happy that science is a self-correcting process and scientist using the theory of evolution exposed the hoax for the fraud it was. Piltdown Man is a good example of how the scientific method works.

I must laugh at the fact that you think any students were ever exposed to Nebraska Man. Stating something that foolish once again exposes how little you have researched into the field of anthropology.

Nevertheless, this gets to the crux of the problem does it not? You had a problem with Ida and A. sediba, yet neither of those were ever taught in any schools curriculum as evidence for evolution. They were vetted long before they ever could have made it into any textbook. So I must ask, what are you talking about here? What influx evidence is ever presented as evidence in a schools curriculum?

Yes. H. erectus has a smaller endocrinal capacity than H. sapiens. They also are lacking a chin, have far larger brow ridges, a sloping forehead, much larger teeth, and a larger more robust face (Conroy, 2005). Those are just the major differences in the cranial anatomy between H. erectus and H. sapiens. Furthermore, please cite the source for your low estimate for H. sapiens endocrinal capacity. According to my sources, it is 1200 -- 1700 (Conroy, 2005). That would mean that there is a small overlap in endocrinal capacity. I hope you are not trying to use humans with pathologies to decrease your minimum.

Kind is not a scientific term. If I referred to humans as apes, it is only to lump them in with their wider clade.

How exactly are gibbons monkey-like when they lack tails, brachiate (which you earlier claimed was a feature of being an ape), and are obligate fruit eaters?

What metric of measurement allows you to claim that gorillas and chimpanzees are the same class of arboreal primate as macaques and baboons, yet exclude humans? Are you aware that gorillas are not arboreal; they are a terrestrial primate?

Again, you do realize that our wrists and shoulder blades are more like that of chimpanzee or gorilla than any of those three are to a macaque or baboon.

However, you are right; we are obligate bipeds. You pointed out one of two major differences we share with the other apes. The second being our large brain (even large for an ape). Yet nothing you have shown so far counts as hard facts, in fact most of what you have stated does not even count as facts. Since it seems obvious you cannot tell the difference between different primates' clades I must ask again, what are your qualifications for stating most of the misinformation you have stated. A simple fact check on Google will expose most of your ideas about apes as being blatantly false. Furthermore, the term you want to use is adaptation not designed in that last paragraph.

I am still waiting for you to cite sources for your claims of limitations to the amount of change genes can go through and citations for the Dmanisi species having pathologies. I cannot remember if there is anything else. If you wish to continue this discussion, can you please cite those sources for me or admit to lying about them.

Citations

Conroy, G. (2001). Reconstructing Human Origins. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.



Nov 04, 2010


Remensum wrote:Really hard facts

No, you don't understand what i am referring to. I mean that there is no evidence for UCD as applied to gene families / classes: they cannot be traced back to a universal common ancestor. It is acknowledged that the various genes "independently evolved" whatever that means.You are referring to using genetics for reconstructing UCD for species.

'Piltdown Man' was the worst hoax in science and was perpetrated because Darwinists desperately wanted evidence to fit in with their theory. It is an example of the lengths they went to do achieve this. Watch NOVA's great documentary on it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy3-iSgGyz4

The endo-cranial capacity for modern humans is typically 1000-1500cc, but the range can go down to 900cc and even as high as 1800cc or more.

Burenhult G. (1993): The first humans: human origins and history to 10,000 BC. New York: HarperCollins

However, modern microcephaliacs have brain sizes of only 600cc and, of course, children have smaller brains than adults. Don't forget that the best fossil find for Homo ergaster is a *boy* from Kenya (Turkana Boy). Also Dmanisi 2700 (600cc) is apparently that of a pre-pubescent child because its wisdom teeth are missing. The completely toothless specimen is D3444 but it could just be some old guy rather than some freakoid.

Gorillas can and do brachiate - have you never been to a zoo before? They may spend a lot of time on the ground, like Patas monkeys, but they are built for arboreal life - check out their semi-circular canals. All apes and monkeys (however you want to classify them) have scapulas designed for this activity. Humans do not. sorry.

Anyway, I doubt you are able to grasp ANY of this but here are some papers on the natural limits to gene evolution. You asked for it. These are just a few:

1) Genetic linkage

Betancourt, A. J (2002) Presgraves, D. C. Linkage limits the power of natural selection in Drosophila. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 99.

Barton NH.Genetics (1995). Linkage and the limits to natural selection;140(2):821-41.

Comeron, JM; Williford, A; Kliman, RM. (2008) The Hill-Robertson effect: evolutionary consequences of weak selection and linkage in finite populations. Heredity.;100(1):19-31.

2) Antagonistic pleiotropy

Sarah OP (2004). Two steps forward, one step back: the pleiotropic effects of favoured alleles. Proc Biol Sci , Vol. 271, No. 1540. pp. 705-714.

3) Antagonistic epistasis

Sanjuà¡n R, Nebot MR. (2008) A network model for the correlation between epistasis and genomic complexity.PLoS One.16;3(7):e2663

4) Protein folding/stability

Murphy, R; Tsai, A. (2007) Protein Folding, Misfolding, Stability, and Aggregation. Misbehaving Proteins pp 3-1.

Taverna DM, Goldstein RM (2000).The evolution of duplicated genes considering protein stability constraints. Pac Sym ComputBiol;69-80.

5) Genetic redundancy

Hanada, K et al (2009) Evolutionary Persistence of Functional Compensation by Duplicate Genes in Arabidopsis. Genome Biology and Evolution ;Vol. 2009:409.

Skipper, M.(2003).Compensation or innovation? Nature Reviews Genetics 4, 80.

Lenski, RE; Barrick, JE; Ofria, C.(2006) Balancing Robustness and Evolvability. PLoS Biol.;4(12):e428.

I could go on and on.

Nov 04, 2010
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SpaceCDTUser avatarPosts: 131Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:28 amLocation: NSW, Australia Gender: Male

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

I wouldn't be able to critique that for you, but I learnt a lot reading it, cheers!
Regards,
Space Cadet Pobersky

"Your commitment to failure is truly outstanding!" - Mastermind
Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:28 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

SpaceCDT wrote:I wouldn't be able to critique that for you, but I learnt a lot reading it, cheers!


I am glad I could help. :D
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Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:10 pm
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he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

Remensum wrote:One more article

I may have forgotten to cite this important paper on the limits to natural selection.

I have provided a direct weblink to the article below:

http://www.ufscar.br/~evolucao/popgen/ref12-5.pdf

Enjoy.

Nov 07, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: One more article

I was not going to respond to your last message until I read your citations. However, I think receiving two messages from you warrants my addressing the first half of your first message. However, thank you for citing your sources. That is something most creationists will not do.

If you are referring to the work done on lateral gene transfer, you are correct. Because of that, we will probably never be able to find the last common ancestor. However, that is not saying we are not related to the other domains, it is simply saying that we cannot follow it back as easy as we are able to follow Eukaryotic evolution using genetic evidence.

I have watched that documentary before and I have read many books about Piltdown Man, which is why I know you are stating a blatant falsehood when stating, "It is an example of the lengths [Darwinists] went to do achieve this."

First off, what is a Darwinist? Second, if you mean Darwinists to be scientists of England than yeah, I would have to agree with you. Not many scientists outside of England thought it was anything more than human bones mixed with other ape bones. Furthermore, the reason England wanted and accepted this hoax for so long is blatant nationalism they had for their country. England was upset that Germany was discovering early human fossils and did not want the origins of humanity to be from Germany, but from England. I cannot comment on the person(s) that created the hoax, because we simply do not know who created it (Feder, 1999).

Second, what part of this story do you not understand? The part when scientists started to make new discoveries in Africa that showed that human evolution could not have started in England (or Europe for that matter). or, the part where real scientists (not creation scientists) exposed the fraud for the hoax it was by conducting fluorine tests to determine that the bones did not belong to the pit they were discovered in (Feder, 1999)? I also find it amusing that you dropped Nebraska Man as a topic. I wonder why?

Third, it seems you can easily dismiss everything evolutionary theory has to offer because of this one hoax (even though I can demonstrate that the complete scientific community never accepted it). However, do you treat creationism the same? From one hoax you keep harping on, I can point out dozens and dozens of hoaxes and outright frauds that creationists have pushed onto unsuspecting people (e.g. everything from Carl Baugh's museum). Worst of all, even after most creationists are shown to be wrong they keep on promoting the frauds as evidence of creationism (e.g. Kent Hovind), whereas science did not do that.

I love how you cite Burenhult's paper as your source for your minimum endocranial capacity, yet do not explain the reasoning why they are so low. Burenhult (1993) used cranial samples from around the world to obtain his sample, some humans of small stature, and others of very large stature. The very large range Burenhult obtains is a reflection of over all size (i.e. small people would have smaller brains, and larger people would have larger brains). However, this size of the brain would not affect the intelligence of a person (Hrdlicka, 1939). To sum it up, we would not expect a person that is ~183 cm to have the same size brain as a person who is ~120 cm tall.

However, several of the H. erectus specimens are estimated to be ~180 cm (e.g. Java Man), but their endocranial capacity is ~ 1000 cc (Conroy, 2005). Why is this? It is probably because H. erectus did not have the same intelligence as H. sapiens.

This is why the endocranial capacity can only tell us so much about a creature. A better estimation of intelligence is the encephalization quotient (EQ). What is an EQ you ask? Well as Dr. Conroy puts it, "EQ is designed to measure relative brain size in mammals and is calculated by dividing the endocranial volume of the species in question by the endocranial volume expected of a living mammal of the same body size" (2005, p 110). The EQ of H. sapiens and P. troglodytes is 5.8 and 2.0 respectively. When we look at A. afarensis it is 2.4, A. africanus, it is 2.6. Have you noticed anything yet? Now H. erectus (specimens from Africa) has an EQ of 3.3 (Conroy, 2005).

H. erectus has a far smaller EQ than H. sapiens (though they share the same locomotive adaptations), even though they were roughly the same size. Not to mention all the other differences that a H. erectus crania has that you did not even touch on.

A microcephaliac's skull would be an outlier. Do you know what we do with outliers in statistics?

I know D3444 is the toothless specimen and I know that is caused by old age, which is what I pointed out to you on November 1st. Do you not remember my posts?

Of course, I know gorillas brachiate. I never said they could not. However, that question you asked me reminds me of the question I asked on November 4th, which reads, "Have you never seen kids playing on monkey bars? What do you think they are doing?" You never answered that question. I wonder why?

Let me get this straight; you are claiming that all monkeys (such as baboons and macaques) can brachiate? Again, I must ask, what makes you feel qualified to comment on primate anatomy? I ask this because you seem grossly ill informed. The only old world primates that are able to brachiate are the apes (gibbons, gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans). What allows apes to brachiate is the shape and orientation of our shoulder girdle. Our shoulder girdle is made up of three bones (the humorous, clavicle, and scapula). Unlike the other primates, the ape's shoulder girdle is oriented lateral of the midline whereas in baboons, macaques, and Patas monkeys the shoulder girdle is oriented anterior to the midline (White, 2000). This is basic primate anatomy.

It also could be possible that you do not know what brachiating means, just as you did not know what ape means. Can you please define brachiating for me?

Furthermore, I am taking it that the reason you did not cite your sources for your claims about the Dmanisi specimens is because you simply made those claims up and you are now sorry for doing so.

I also love how arrogant you are when you cite your sources. I do not see why you are so arrogant when I am able to show that everything you think you know is blatantly false. Keep that chip on your shoulder though. You need it since you seem to be lacking on facts.

Citations

Burenhult G. (1993): The first humans: human origins and history to 10,000 BC. New York: HarperCollins.
Conroy, G. (2005). Reconstructing Human Origins. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Feder, K. (1999). Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology. Mayfield Publishing Company
Hrdlicka A. (1939). Normal micro- and macrocephaly in America. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 25:1-91.
White, T. (2000). Human Osteology. Academic Press.

Nov 07, 2010
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Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

Boring feedback for now, I'm just putting this in as a little placeholder so I don't forget to read this thread.
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he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

Remensum wrote:Re: Re: One more article

Well, I really do suggest you read Barton, N., & Partridge, L. (2000). Limits to natural selection. Bioessays. ; 22(12):1075-84.

You might also want to read the recent long-term study of evolution in fruit flies:

Burke, M.K. et al. (2010). Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila. Nature.

You still don't understand what I am referring to regarding UCD. I am not interested in the last universally ancestral *organism* but in the last universally ancestral *gene*. So far, all attempts to find a pattern of descent among all the genes in the genome have failed. They have apparently "independently evolved" which is no different to having been "separately created".

Darwinism is a term coined by 'Darwin's bulldog' himself - Thomas Huxley. Neither "Darwinism" nor "Evolutionism" were coined by creationists. it refers to the notion that natural selection is the mechanism behind the diversity and complexity of life on earth.

The point about Piltdown Man is not so much that it was a forgery but rather the assumption that there must have been a 'missing link' taxon. We have seen this time and time again - as with Australopithecus sediba this year. It is not a fake but its discoverer, Dr Bergman, clearly tried to make it out to be something it is not - a bridge between the australopiths and Homo ergaster. It is SO annoying. These discoveries are just media events , set up by attention whores, and not carefully researched presentations.

Homo erectus/ergaster did have, on average, smaller brains than modern humans but both were intelligent enough to manufacture sophisticated stone axes, hunt and use and control fire for cooking and clearing. The fact is that many erectus specimens did overlap with modern healthy humans in terms of brain size.

Yes, I myself used bars when I was a boy. We can do lots of things with our hands and arms - like rattling a keyboard - but it doesn't mean we are *designed* for this or for "brachiation" like gibbons and atelines clearly are....as well as bonobos etc.

I did not claim anything about the Dmanisi specimens only to point out that they may have suffered from a pathological condition on account of the fact that one was toothless.
It might be because of senility or rather because of some severe condition.

I am not arrogant, but I am confident enough to state that evolutionism is "the greatest hoax on earth". It really is no different to alchemy - indeed, it shares much in common with the idea of the transmutation of base metals into gold.

Nov 07, 2010


Remensum wrote:How are you getting along?

I hope the papers I cited are not proving too difficult for you to comprehend.

I can send you some powerpoint presentations with pretty pictures if that is easier.

Nov 08, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: How are you getting along?

When I have more free time I will read your citations. I have read the abstracts of most of them (the ones I could obtain) and have seen very little to support your case in them so far. Nevertheless, unlike you I will read the article before commenting on them. I am going to sit this new paper out since it seems I already have enough on my plate. You do realize that I have a real life with relationships and a job to attend to, right? However, I do feel obligated to respond to your messages as soon as possible because I now know you will message me with something else if I do not.

You are right; I do not understand what you are referring to when you are regarding UCD. Can you please cite a source for this? Otherwise, I think we are just going to talk past one another.

If your entomologies (sic) of the terms Darwinism and Evolutionism are correct, I feel they are antiquated terms. No one in any field that deals with evolution uses those terms in publications. I think the proper term to use now would be the modern evolutionary symphysis. We have discovered a lot since Darwin and Huxley.

The point about the Paluxy dino/man tracks is not so much that it was a forgery but rather the assumption that there must have been "evidence that humans and dinosaurs lived together". We have seen this time and time again -...

You have to be kidding me, right? The reason why any hoax is wrong is the fact that it is fraudulent. Yes, Piltdown Man was a fraud and some scientists believed in it for idealistic reasons. However, it seems obvious you are unwilling to hold creationists to the same standards you have for proponents of evolution. A fraud is wrong because it is a fraud, period.

I agree completely with you about A. sediba and Ida. That is why I pretty much said the same thing on November 1st. "I do agree with you about Ida and A. sediba, but scientist who cared more about making money than the science discovered both those. Both are examples of the scientists running to the press with something before their results are carefully vetted." I further went on to say this; "The Dmanisi specimens are nothing like that. The Ardipithecus discovery was nothing like that." I can add the discovery in Spain (i.e. H. heidelbergensis), "Lucy", Taung child, Peking Man, Java Man, etc... This is not to mention the myriad of transitional fossils we have for whole other lineages.

First off, there is a large difference between the Oldowan tools (which they were first making) and Acheulean tools (which they eventually invented) and the Upper Paleolithic tools H. sapiens created. There is much debate as to whether H. erectus hunted or just scavenged. There is no evidence that they used fire until 1.5 million years ago, which is well after H. erectus evolved. Moreover, there is no evidence that they were clearing anything with it (Conroy, 2005).

Nevertheless, you are correct. Some H. erectus overlapped with modern humans in brain size. A ~ 180 cm H. erectus would have approximately the same size brain as a 140 cm pygmy. I guessed you must have missed the point I was making about the EQ and the point I was making about how over all brain size is a poor reflection of intelligence. Furthermore, I guess you are still going to ignore the other differences found on the craniums of H. erectus and H. sapiens. You can remain willfully ignorant of the evidence. No one is forcing you to accept the facts. They will wait here until you are ready for them.

I cannot help but laugh at your argument from incredulity. I cited how the orientation of the shoulder girdle in humans and the other apes is the structure that allows the apes to brachiate. I also explained why the other primates in the old world could not brachiate. Your ignorance is not evidence of anything except how little you know about primates' anatomy.

When a human swings from the monkey bars, they are brachiating (which is why they should be called the ape bars). If you knew the definition of brachiating, this would be apparent to you. Your ignorance is not an argument.

Now you are trying to say that you never claimed the Dmansi specimens suffered from pathologies. However, if we look back at October 31st you stated this; "The more work done on the Dmanisi fossils show them to be fully human, although likely symptomatic of a pathological condition like 'Homo floresiensis' which was found to be a cretinous Homo sapiens." At least to me, and I could be wrong, that statement reads as if you are claiming the Dmanisi specimens had a pathology and that is why they appear to be different from "fully human". Of course, they are fully human. They are in the clade Homo.

Well, evolutionism could be the greatest hoax on earth. Nevertheless, that would do nothing to change the facts. One of those facts is evolution by its biological definition, which you accept. In addition, I do not see what part of allelic frequencies in a population changing over time has to do with base metals transmutating into gold. As I said, evolutionism is an antiquated word. We have come along way since Darwin and if evolutionism were defined as narrow as you put it, I myself would reject it for the modern evolutionary synthesis.

Citations

Conroy, G. (2005). Reconstructing Human Origins. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Nov 08, 2010


Remensum wrote:Re: Re: How are you getting along?

Take your time. I do recommend the Barton and Partridge "The Limits to Natural Selection" paper (2000) because it summarizes most of the points raised by the other manuscripts.

Regarding UCD, I am referring to the fact that - if evolution were true - we should see a pattern of descent among all the various genes in the genome: if possible, we should see them all descending from one proto-gene or family of genes. But that isn't so.

You are referring to the study of orthologous genes to establish common descent among organisms. That is the more commonly understood field.

Anyway, I will let you carry on laughing to your heart's content......when you are ready to return to the level of civilized and rational discourse, and not that of *your* ape-like and comical ancestors, I will be glad to hear from you. Some of us have scientific papers to write and have published - one of them later this week, hopefully.

Nov 08, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: How are you getting along?

I wonder why it is hard for someone that writes journal articles to cite sources. It is especially amazing to me because in your second message to me you wrote, "...yes, citations are necessary in science..." Why not follow your own advice? I asked you to cite a source for the claims you are making about the UCD. This will be the second time I ask you to do that. I know we are talking passed each other, which is why I wanted a source for the claims you are making.

Yes, I laugh at you. Your arguments about the hominin fossil record and primate taxonomy boils down to personal incredulity, and you present that incredulity as if it were an actual argument. I find arguments from personal incredulity to be extremely amusing. You are essentially arguing that your opinion trumps the facts.

However, not only do you present this incredulity as evidence, you than go on to write blatantly arrogant messages, while being demonstrably wrong about claims you have made. I know when I am shown to be wrong, I do not act arrogant afterwards, and I am humbled. Beyond this, you then go on to tell me that when I am ready to return to a "civil and rational discussion" you will be glad to hear from me. The hubris is astonishing.

This hubris extends to the citations you provided. Let me ask you a legitimate question, did you even read any of the articles? Now, I have not finished reading all of them because after reading four of them, it seemed obvious that you did not read them yourself.

The first paper I read was the Barton and Partridge paper. I read this paper first because you claimed, "it summarized most of the points raised by the other manuscripts." I am just going to let you know that I agree with just about everything Barton and Partridge said in their paper. Furthermore, I do not think you understood a word of what they were saying. Of course, there are limits to natural selection; everyone that has studied this subject knows that. However, Barton and Partridge (2000) explain how other factors, such as genetic drift and gene flow, can also influence living organisms. I also find it really amazing that you would cite a paper that states this, "There have been on average ~1.3 amino-acid substitutions per generation since humans diverged from chimpanzees. Haldane's argument implies that no more than a small fraction of these could have been established by selection" (p. 1078). It seems obvious that Barton and Partridge accept that humans are apes and we are related to chimpanzees. Why you think this article, supports your position is beyond me.

You further went on to cite Barton (1995), which was about gene fixation. The article goes through how it is hard for natural selection to fix certain genes because of linkage and other phenomenon. Please tell me, what does gene fixation have to do with stopping evolution?

Perhaps I was too vague when I asked for citations. You did provide papers that show limitations for natural selection. However, you are claiming that evolution cannot lead to the diversity of life on earth. You however accept the biological definition of evolution. My question then is what is the mechanism that stops the change of allelic frequencies from producing what we see today? The four papers I read (which are Batton 1995, Betancourt 2002, Comeron et al. 2008, and Barton and Partridge 2000) do not cover that mechanism. In fact, all four of those papers worked within the framework of evolution through natural selection.

Do any of the papers, which you have cited, show a mechanism that stops evolution? I feel I have wasted enough time reading papers that support evolution and was hoping to read something that supported your argument. Furthermore, if you do think any of those support your position, I must ask you to work on your reading comprehension. I know you are an active quote miner (i.e. a form of lying) which could also explain why you think these articles help your case.

Citiations

Barton, N. Partridge, L. (2000). Limits to natural selection. BioEssays 22: p. 1075-1084
Barton NH.Genetics (1995). Linkage and the limits to natural selection. Cenetics Society of America. 140(2):821-41.

Nov 10, 2010


Remensum wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: How are you getting along?

Look, there is no point in me citing a paper for you if you don't even get the gist of what I am referring to . It is like a toddler asking to learn about calculus without knowing how to add up. I am certain that your knowledge of genetics is fairly rudimentary. I would suggest you begin by understanding what is meant by a gene family and super-family.

My arguments about "hominins" are based on the fact that there is no credible evidence in the fossil record for the gradual transition of ape-like beasts into modern humans over the course of 7 million years. There are simply members of two separate genera - australopith (ape) and Homo (human).

Now for the citations. You arrogantly asked if I could provide any evidence of *limits* to variation and selection. I did just that and now, predictably, you have moved your position.

Clearly, genetics is a hard subject for you because Barton refers to the fixation of "alleles" and not "gene loci" as such. He clearly shows that ,for weakly beneficial alleles, linkage to deleterious variation serves as a barrier to their fixation...in other words it can and does stop evolution. The same goes for mutations that incur antagonistic pleiotropy and epistasis : do you have ANY idea what these terms mean?

Perhaps the most obvious mechanism that restrains evolution is natural selection itself. Since mutations almost always have deleterious effects, selection acts against this variation. Natural selection keeps things as they are - it conserves and does not innovate. It can serve to optimize, adjust and improve existing features ,as well as compensate for any damage to them, but it has no potential to create new features.

I think this paper is a good place to start:

Silander, OK; Ackermann .(2009).M. The constancy of gene conservation across divergent bacterial orders. BMC Research Notes 2:2

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/2/2

The authors conclude:

"These results suggest that even over broad time scales, most bacterial genes are under a nearly constant level of purifying selection, and that bacterial evolution is thus dominated by selective and functional stasis."

In other words, any "evolution" is markedly restrained.

Nov 11, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How are you getting along?

I am taking your cop-out as a sign that you do not have any citations to back your claims. We can just move on.

Again, humans are apes, just as we are primates, mammals, and vertebrates. Furthermore, we have abundant fossil evidence for human evolution plus genetic evidence. Just because you wish to ignore the evidence, does not make it go away. In addition, in order to understand the fossil record one needs to know what a transitional fossil is (something you have shown you do not know) and what cladistics is (something I asked before and you refused to answer).

One more thing, who says it has to be gradual? You are aware of punctuated equilibrium, right?

I never asked for limits to variation and selection. I first ask this on November 1st, "Great, you know and accept the biological definition of evolution. Given that definition can you please explain to me the mechanism that stops it?" You simply ignored that. I than asked again on November 4th this, "I am still waiting for you to cite sources for your claims of limitations to the amount of change genes can go through and citations for the Dmanisi species having pathologies." Not once did I ask for limitations for variation and selection.

After reading some of your citations, I realized how the phrasing of my question was not clear enough and recognized that the reason you probably cited those articles could have also been my fault in my last post.

"Perhaps I was too vague when I asked for citations. You did provide papers that show limitations for natural selection. However, you are claiming that evolution cannot lead to the diversity of life on earth. You however accept the biological definition of evolution. My question then is what is the mechanism that stops the change of allelic frequencies from producing what we see today?"

Therefore, as you can see, my position has been clear since November 1st. This misunderstanding arose from your unwillingness to cite sources. Which again, I find hard to believe that someone who writes journal articles finds it difficult to cite sources.

Sorry. My mistake if I referred to alleles as genes. You are right though, this is not my cup of tea. However, my critique still stands, how does allele fixation stop evolution? Simply because one weakly beneficial allele does not become fixed in a population, does not stop evolution. In fact, the changing of that allele's frequency through generations is exactly what we should see.

Yes. I know what both those terms mean. I can also define them for you if you wish. However, I am still waiting for you to define brachiation. Neither of them stops evolution from happening either.

Mutations are not mostly deleterious, they are mostly neutral (Talk.Origins, CB 101). This is biology 101.

I agree 100% with this statement from you about natural selection, "It can serve to optimize, adjust and improve existing features ,as well as compensate for any damage to them, but it has no potential to create new features." No one is claiming anything else for natural selection. Furthermore, this alone can explain the change between A. afarensis to H. sapiens, seeing as how one does not have any new feature, only adjustments and improvements of existing features.

You sure do love to quote from the abstracts of articles. Again, I must ask, did you even read this paper? First off, nothing about that quote suggests that they have found a mechanism that stops evolution from happening. They are talking about stasis, which has been observed before and is part of punctuated equilibrium.

Furthermore, Silander and Ackermann (2009) discuss orthologous genes between distantly related clades of bacteria. They show that most of the bacteria studied have many orthologous genes even though they are distantly related. Nothing about this paper supports your claims. The best part of this article is that it gives a phylogenetic tree of the bacteria studied in figure 5. In that figure, you can see that most of them were orthologous, but some were not. This in fact is good evidence that no allele is immutable.

Citation

Silander, OK; Ackermann .(2009).M. The constancy of gene conservation across divergent bacterial orders. BMC Research Notes 2:2
Talk.Origins. Claim CB101. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB101.html

Nov 11, 2010


Remensum wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How are you getting along?

I am not copping-out if you don't even understand what a gene family is. Where do I start trying to explain basic genetics to a beginner?

Punctuated equilibrium is not a scientific theory - it absurdly claims an absence of evidence as evidence for rapid evolution - completely unfalsifiable nonsense.

I have given you *plenty* of examples that explain the factors that limit and restrain molecular evolution - it is not my fault that you have no comprehension of them whatever. I would contend that natural selection itself is the mechanism that can prevent change because it conserves the genome....and the talkorigins claim is complete bullshit from a typical propaganda outlet. The *vast majority of mutations* (including many synonymous changes) are deleterious as far as fitness is concerned:

Keightley, P. D., and M. Lynch, 2003 Toward a realistic model of mutations affecting fitness. Evolution 57: 683--685.

Pagani F., Raponi M., Baralle F.E (2005). Synonymous mutations in CFTR exon 12 affect splicing and are not neutral in evolution. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci.

Your use of cognitive dissonance has prevented you from understanding Silander and Ackermann (2009). What they demonstrate that is that , by comparing orthologous genes from species belong to several different bacterial orders, they found that strong purifying selection had resulted in *functional stasis* (no change) and not adaptive evolution.

Obligate bipedalism, the use of speech and the advanced cerebral cortex in humans are hardly the result of minor adjustments. These, among others, are fundamental differences that can hardly be explained by the odd point mutation here and there.

If you think you are a mutant ape, I suggest you inform the authorities - you are being given rights and freedoms that you don't deserve.

Nov 13, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How are you getting along?

Fine. Call it whatever you like and try to justify it as you wish. However, claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. We can just move on.

Arguing from incredulity again I see, how amusing. I think I will just let Talk.Origins handle this one since you seem to love it so much: "The theory of punctuated equilibrium is based on positive evidence, including extensive studies of living and extinct species groups (Eldredge and Gould 1972)" (Claim CC201.1). It seems you have been wrong for almost 40 years. It is amazing how creationists can horde an argument for so long, no matter how wrong they are.

I know you have given me plenty of examples that limit evolution, however, as I have already explained in my last message, that was not what I was looking for. Furthermore, I agree with just about every one of your citations thus far. None, of them shows how evolution can be stopped. Limited yes, but stopped, no (you are aware that limited is not a synonym for stopped, right?).

It is funny how you can just write off Talk.Origins for the simple fact that they dare to contradict you. Talk.Origins already handled the argument you just made by stating this: "The harmful mutations do not survive long, and the beneficial mutations survive much longer, so when you consider only surviving mutations, most are beneficial" (Claim CB101). This means, even if you are correct, harmful mutations do not last because they are weeded out by natural selection, whereas beneficial mutations are allowed to thrive. Again, this is basic biology. Now, I am going to look into your citations, hopefully this time you read past the abstract.

Pagani et al. (2005) went over how mutations affect splicing. They point out that the splicing can lead to purifying selection; therefore, the mutation is not neutral because it is acted on by selection. Why you think this paper supports your claim that most mutations are detrimental is beyond me.

Peter and Lynch (2003) do state that mutations are mostly harmful. I am proud of you; you finally made a claim and were able to back it with a relevant citation. It is a good thing that I already covered this with my citation from Talk.Origins.

Yes, Silander and Ackermann found strong purifying selection for many orthologous genes. However, as I pointed out, they also showed that not all the species had orthologous genes. This means that even though there was stasis for most of the bacteria's genes, not all of them had the same selective pressures (Silander and Ackermann, 2009). Again, did you even read the article? Did you look at figure 5 as I pointed out? This was all explained very nicely in their paper. Perhaps I am not the one with the cognitive dissonance.

Seeing as how the Australopiths were also bipeds that possessed a larynx and a cerebral cortex, how are you able to say in one message: "It can serve to optimize, adjust and improve existing features, as well as compensate for any damage to them, but it has no potential to create new features." Than claim this in the very next message? "These... are fundamental differences that can hardly be explained by the odd point mutation here and there." The Australopith is not obtaining any new features it is only "optimizing, adjusting, and improving existing features."

Another appeal to ridicule, you are so predictable. How amusing. Humans belong to the clade Hominoidea (ape) something you have tried to dispute and failed. You can either accept this demonstrable fact or, as you put it, "wallow in your ignorance."

Citations:

Keightley, P. D., and M. Lynch, 2003 Toward a realistic model of mutations affecting fitness. Evolution 57: 683--685.
Pagani F., Raponi M., Baralle F.E (2005). Synonymous mutations in CFTR exon 12 affect splicing and are not neutral in evolution. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci.
Silander, OK; Ackermann, M. (2009). The constancy of gene conservation across divergent bacterial orders. BMC Research Notes 2:2
Talk.Origins. Claim CB101. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB101.html
Talk.Origins. Claim CC201.1. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC201_1.html

Nov 13, 2010


Remensum wrote:limits

Well, if you want to remain ignorant on the subject of genetics , so be it. But I am including this wiki entry to help you learn about how some genes may share a common ancestry through duplication:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_family

You obviously don't understand what "falsifiability" means. Punkie-Equilibrium can present no evidence other than an absence of evidence to support it. It is unfalsifiable.

Look, if you accept that there are natural limits to biological change then it all comes down to determining what extent of these limits actually is. I see them as substantial, whereas you would rather believe that they are not. Let me ask you this: "Do you think a copy of a cyclin gene can evolve into an opsin, hypothetically speaking?"

TalkOrigins is not a science site: it is a media/propaganda site. It is like trying to learn about evolution from the NCSE. The fact is that the vast majority of mutations are deleterious and are selected against. The Pagani paper shows that even synonymous mutations ( those which don't change the protein sequence) can be harmful - this wasn't known until recently. The Silander & Ackerman (2009) paper reports a pervasive level of functional stasis - i.e. evolution has stopped. That massively supports my argument that natural selection is a force for conservation and not innovation.

You trivialize the differences between the australopiths and humans. Fortunately, we now know that A afarensis could not possibly be a direct human ancestor on account of its mandibular ramus . And, as we discussed at the beginning of this conversation, A/H habilis is not a direct human ancestor either:

Citations:

Rak Y, Ginzburg A, Geffen E. (2007). Gorilla-like anatomy on Australopithecus afarensis mandibles suggests Au. afarensis link to robust australopiths. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. ;;104(16):6568-72.

F. Spoor, M. G. Leakey, P. N. Gathogo, F. H. Brown, S. C. Antà³n, I. McDougall, C. Kiarie, F. K. Manthi & L. N. Leakey (2007).Implications of new early Homo fossils from Ileret, east of Lake Turkana, Kenya". Nature 448 (448): 688--691

Nov 13, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: limits

I read the wikipedia page. Seems to be more evidence to support evolution and not stop it.

You are arguing from your incredulity again, how amusing. The quote I provided you was referring to Eldredge's and Gould's findings in "Models in Paleobiology". It also states how it is based on positive evidence, and positive evidence can be falsified. Your ignorance on this matter does not mean anything.

I agree, there are limits to evolution, but none of those limits stops it from happening. Furthermore, there are ample phylogenetic trees that show how every living creature is related to every other creature. There are a myriad of transitional fossils found in the fossil record (even though you are choosing to ignore them) that link most clades of extant and extinct creatures. So yes, there are limits, but it seems that those limits are over come in one way or another. Nothing you have presented shows how evolution would stop and how different clades are not related.

I do not think cyclin genes can evolve into opsin genes. I do not see why they would have to in the first place. It seems like there would be some steps in the middle, so a straight evolution would not be possible. However, this is not my cup of tea, so my opinion on this matter is moot. See how easy it is to answer questions. Makes me wonder why you find it so difficult.

Good thing I did not learn about evolution from NCSE or Talk.Origins. The only reason I was citing Talk.Origins is that it does keep a running record of debunked creationist claims. I like to cite Talk.Origins to show creationists that their arguments are so wrong, that they made it onto a list of why they are wrong. Furthermore, the list cites primary sources to show why the argument is wrong. In addition, a harmful mutation being selected against is what evolution predicts, it also predicts that beneficial mutations will be passed down at a higher rate, which was the point of the Talk.Origins rebuttal. Do you not understand that?

Correct, the Pagani et al. paper did cover that. Which, again, is only allele frequency changing over time. They even state how there is positive and purifying selection happening on the mutated genes (2005). So again, thanks for citing something that undermines your argument.

As for the Silander and Ackerman paper, again, stasis is something already predicted by evolution (i.e. punctuated equilibrium). Furthermore, Silander and Ackerman (2009), in figure 5, show that stasis did not happen to all the bacteria studied. So again, how is this evidence of conservation only, when it also shows change? I must ask, did you even read passed the abstract?

Trivialize? So you disagree that the Australopiths were bipedal and had a larynx and cerebral cortex? I am only wondering how someone can claim that natural selection can "optimize, adjust, and improve existing features" then claim that the existing features are "fundamentally different".

Did you even read either of the papers you cited about the hominins, passed the abstract? It is funny because Spoor et al (2007) are not claiming that the habilines did not give rise to H. erectus, only that there is no anagenetic relationship between the two taxa. In addition, as I pointed out on November 2nd, no one expects evolution to work through strictly anagenetic terms. Spoor et al. point out that Au. habilis still could have led to H. erectus because their fossils are found earlier in the fossil record. They also point out that our estimation for H. erectus's endocranial capacity may be smaller based on the crania described in the paper.

The Rak et al. (2007) give reasons why they think Au. afarensis could not be in the human lineage because of a trait found on the mandible. However, the reason why they are able to exclude Au. afarensis is that they point out that the basal state of the mandible is found in humans, chimps, bonobo, and orangutans. Therefore, even if they are correct, you still have not excluded humans from the ape family, and Rak et al. point out that Ar. ramidus (who also had the basal mandible feature) belongs to the human lineage. Furthermore, they point out that Au. afarensis could have given rise to the robust Australopiths (i.e. evolution).

To run off on a tangent about Rak et al. paper; I would have to suggest that even if they are correct (they did have a very small mandible sample size) that the basal mandible shape could have still existed in the genotype of the Australopiths. In addition, once the selective pressure changed, the basal genotype could have become dominate again and expressed as the phenotype in later lineages.

So to re-state my comment (since I know you will not drop this point): "'It can serve to optimize, adjust and improve existing features, as well as compensate for any damage to them, but it has no potential to create new features.' No one is claiming anything else for natural selection. Furthermore, this alone can explain the change between [Ar. ramidus] to H. sapiens, seeing as how one does not have any new feature, only adjustments and improvements of existing features."

I highly suggest reading the articles you cite (passed the abstract) before presenting them to me. That last message from you was extremely pathetic.

Citations:

Pagani F., Raponi M., Baralle F.E (2005). Synonymous mutations in CFTR exon 12 affect splicing and are not neutral in evolution. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci.
Rak Y, Ginzburg A, Geffen E. (2007). Gorilla-like anatomy on Australopithecus afarensis mandibles suggests Au. afarensis link to robust australopiths. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. ;;104(16):6568-72.
Silander, OK; Ackermann, M. (2009). The constancy of gene conservation across divergent bacterial orders. BMC Research Notes 2:2
Spoor F., Leakey M. G., Gathogo P. N., Brown F. H., Antà³n S. C., McDougall I., Kiarie C., Manthi F. K., & Leakey L. N. (2007).Implications of new early Homo fossils from Ileret, east of Lake Turkana, Kenya". Nature 448 (448): 688--691

Nov 14, 2010


Remensum wrote:Re: Re: limits

Good. Now you know what a gene family is. You must surely realize that ,for evolution in the full sense of the term to be true, gene families must be related to higher groups just as with cladistics/systematics: But no pattern of universal common ancestry among all genes is possible. Instead we find that a minimum set of genes is necessary for cellular life to exist at all (Glass et al. 2006).

That is darn good evidence in support of creation. In other words, the authors have identified an "irreducible complexity" - a minimum genome which cannot be reduced.

Anyway, I am glad you realize the absurdity of supposing that a gene that regulates the cell cycle could even possibly evolve into one which is sensitive to photons. They are two distinct "types/kinds" of gene. And this represents an obvious barrier to evolutionary change. ATP6 has been mutating for billions of years and yet it has not 'evolved' into anything other than ATP6. This represents a fundamental dilemma for evolution - it cannot originate new features and new biological information (Bozorgmehr 2010)

Actually, A afarensis has long been recognized as *not* being a direct human ancestor. Austraopithecus garhi is the more "gracile" species (Asfaw et al. 1999) and has been proposed as the ancestor of Homo ergaster if we now admit that H habilis is just a curious "sister species" - and far more of an apish australopith.

The problem is that the Ardipithecus and Australopithecus genera share no 'anagenetic' relationship - this actually should be important if cladistics is to have any point. Ardi's kind did not evolve into Lucy's or that of any other australopith. I don't know any palaeontologist who has made such a claim that they did. Also, nobody knows where both genera came from. There is nothing in the fossil record that explains their origin.

In any case, I would say that an australopith could evolve into a more specialized and advanced australopith through a process of the optimization of existing features but it
could not evolve into a human (Homo) species. As i say, a new feature like obligate bipedalism requires fundamental changes in the pelvis, spine, inner ear, humerus etc...

Citations:

Asfaw, B; White, T; Lovejoy, O; Latimer, B; Simpson, S; Suwa, G (1999). "Australopithecus garhi: a new species of early hominid from Ethiopia". Science 284 (5414): 629--35.

Bozorgmehr, JEH. (2010). Natural selection as a paradigm of opportunism. Journal of Bioeconomics; DOI: 10.1007/s10818-010-9094-5.

Glass JI, Assad-Garcia N, Alperovich N, Yooseph S, Lewis MR, Maruf M, Hutchison CA 3rd, Smith HO, Venter JC. (2006) Essential genes of a minimal bacterium.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A;103(2):425-30.

Nov 16, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: limits

What do you mean evolution in the full sense of the term? In biology, the term simply means change in allelic frequency in a population over time. You seem to be confusing evolution with the theory of evolution/modern evolutionary synthesis. Furthermore, you keep claiming that gene families are not related, yet provide no evidence to support this claim. Claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

You than go on to claim that a minimum set of genes is necessary for life (true, no one disagrees), yet claim that this is evidence for creation some how. There is a line between self-replicating polymers, which are not alive, and self-replication with homeostasis. How you are able to claim "...a genome constructed to concede 387 protein-coding and 43 structural RNA genes..." (Glass et al., 2006, p. 429) suggest creation is beyond me.

However, for the sake of argument, let us suppose you are correct. Those 387 protein-coding and 43 structural RNA genes did not come about through natural means. They were created by something. How is that evidence against the theory of evolution? Evolution does not deal with how life started, only how life is still here on this ever-changing planet. A god(s) could have started life and it would do nothing to disprove evolution.

Kind. There is that term again. Can you please define kind in a scientific context? I have seen you use it once before. Until you are able to define what a kind is, you cannot claim it as a barrier against evolution.

I could not obtain a copy of Bozorgmehr (2010) (your paper), but again, stasis is something predicted by evolutionary theory, and observed before. Showing that ATP6 has not change for billions of years is not evidence against evolution.

Actually, there has been debate ever since Au. afarensis was first discovered as to whether it belongs to the human lineage. However, it seems that you have given up on reading the abstracts, let alone the actual articles, you cite. From the abstract of Asfaw et al. (1999) "Discovery of 2.5 Ma hominid cranial and dental remains from the Hata
beds of Ethiopia's Middle Awash allows recognition of a new species of Australopithecus.
This species is descended from Australopithecus afarensis and is
a candidate ancestor for early Homo." This alone disproves your assertion of Au. afarensis no longer being recognized as belonging to the human lineage. To clarify another point you keep getting wrong, the authors of this paper also explain that "early-Homo" is referring to the habilines

Furthermore, you go on to claim that Au. garhi is more gracile than Au. afarensis. This is not found in the paper; in fact, the opposite is shown. In figure 3 and 4 as well as the body of the article they compare Au. garhi with other Australopiths, including Au. afarensis. Asfaw et al. (1999) point out that the more gracile species would have been Au. afarensis.

How is an anagenetic relationship important if cladistics is to have any point? I think the problem here is that you do not know the meaning of either of those terms. Could you please define them for me?

You do not know any? Really? Well, Asfaw et al. (1999), if you would have bothered to read their paper, have shown a cladogram on page 634 (figure 5) that shows the relation of Ar. ramidus, Au. afarensis, Au. garhi, and many other Australopiths, plus early-Homo (which means the habilines). Furthermore, I can point to Lovejoy et al. (2009), which also has a cladogram on page 104 (figure 2), which shows the relationship, again, of Ar. ramidus, and Au. afarensis. Your ignorance of this subject is not an argument. Stop spouting your opinion as if it were worth anything.

Correct. We have not found the last common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans. However, this is not a shortcoming of the theory of evolution; this is a shortcoming of the geological record. I have already pointed this out to you on August 28th. It is amazing that we have any fossils in the first place. In addition, as has already been pointed out as well, even if we had no fossils, we still have abundant genetic as well as taxonomic evidence of evolution.

What is a human if not a more "specialized" and "advanced" Australopith? You claim that obligate bipedalism is a new feature; however, can you please point out the difference between a non-obligate biped and an obligate. Because the Australopiths possess the spine and pelvis (inner ear bones are hard to preserve, so we do not have any of those for the Australopiths) that allow them to be bipedal. They also have the femur and foramen magnum for it (Conroy, 2005). I am curious to know why you think the humerus plays a role in bipedal locomotion. Can you please explain?

Citations:

Asfaw, B; White, T; Lovejoy, O; Latimer, B; Simpson, S; Suwa, G (1999). "Australopithecus garhi: a new species of early hominid from Ethiopia". Science 284 (5414): 629--35.
Conroy, G. (2005). Reconstructing Human Origins. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Glass JI, Assad-Garcia N, Alperovich N, Yooseph S, Lewis MR, Maruf M, Hutchison CA 3rd, Smith HO, Venter JC. (2006) Essential genes of a minimal bacterium.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A;103(2):425-30.
Lovejoy, C. O., Suwa, G., Simpson, S. W., Matternes, J. H., and White, T. D. (2009) The Great Divides: Ardipithecus ramidus Reveals the postcrania of Our Last Common Ancestors with African Apes. Science. p. 73-106

Nov 17, 2010


Remensum wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: limits

I have to now disprove that most gene families are unrelated??? You yourself admitted that a cyclin and an opsin were two unrelated types of protein - one is a cell cycle regulation family the other a light-sensitive receptor family. One is from Mars, the other is from Venus...there is no evolutionary intermediate or ancestral relationship. Enough said.

Anyway,if you concede that the origins of the minimum set of genes required for cellular life has no 'naturalistic' origin, then there is no reason to suppose that the other genes, duplicate variants excepted, were not similarly originated.

A "kind/type" of protein/enzyme is used by biochemists all the time. I don't know of any precise definition, but here is a basic list of the kinds:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_types_of_proteins

Again, you advance "the dog ate my homework" argument. We haven't dug up the common ancestor of humans and chimps ,but apparently that doesn't mean that such a creature did not exist. That simply won't do. And there is no direct lineage proposed that links Ardi with Lucy - none. The demise of the habilines as a direct ancestor of Homo ergaster (now deemed a sister species) completely breaks the inferred line of descent.

I beg to disagree that humans are some form of advanced australopith or chimp-like creature.We may share much in common with the apes, but then so do cats and dogs with each other, or even boars and wolves. Life is diverse, but we all have to perform similar functions, after all. To date, no scientist has proposed a mathematical account of all the changes that would have been necessary to transmutate an australopith into a human - and many of these changes would have to be coordinated with a degree of synchrony - as with obligate bipedalism which requires many kinds of changes in different parts of the body. The stupid thing about cladistics is that it regards humans as "synapsids" like the dinosaur-like creature, Dimetrodon.

http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/Synapsid

How can anyone take such a theory seriously if it makes such stupid assertions as that?

Nov 18, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: limits

No, you do not have to disprove that most gene families are unrelated, but you keep spouting that as if it were a fact (or even relevant). I thought you had a relevant citation to back that claim. I see now this is just another one of your opinions.

I did not admit a cyclin and opsin gene were unrelated. On November 14th I stated, "I do not think cyclin genes can evolve into opsin genes." That does not mean they did not share a basal state. It only means that either is far to derived to evolve into the other. You really need to work on your reading comprehension. You further go on to claim there is no ancestral relationship without any evidence. How many times am I going to have to tell you that your opinion does not matter?

Furthermore, I did not concede that the minimum set of genes required for creating a cell could not come about through naturalistic origins (again, work on your reading comprehension). However, you are correct, if life was supernaturally created, than we could suppose that other genes also had a supernatural origin. The problem is you have not shown that there was a supernatural origin for anything.

"Kind" does not appear once on that wikipedia page. It seems like you are trying to equivocate the term "type" with "kind". That page only refers to proteins as types. Nevertheless, this is beside the point. Creationists love to use the term "kind" yet are never willing to define it.

The rest of your message is just one big argument from incredulity. To tell you the truth, I could not stop laughing when I first read it.

You first claim that stating the fact that we have not found the last common ancestor between chimpanzees and humans is some how the same as a dog eating one's homework. As I have stated countless times before, fossils are only one piece of evidence that shows our relationship with the other primates. Your argument is like stating that since we have not found the remains of your great-great grandfather, he must never have existed. Even though we can show you, with genetic evidence, that you had a great-great grandfather who led to you and some distantly related cousins. Again, genetics and other pieces of evidence show our relationship with the other primates. Fossils are just another piece of that evidence.

You then go on to claim there is no direct lineage between Ar. ramidus and Au. afarensis. You could be correct, they might not be direct lineages, but than again, no one is claiming them to be direct (there could be other intermediates). However, every piece of evidence that you have cited so far has shown a lineage between the two taxa. Your incredulity does not equal an argument.

You then go on to claim that the habilines are not a direct ancestor to H. ergaster, and again you could be correct. No one is claiming there needs to be a direct lineage (again, there could be other intermediates). However, again, every piece of evidence you have cited so far has shown a lineage between the habilines and later Homo. So again, your incredulity does not equal an argument.

It is amazing and amusing that the evidence that you have cited is the evidence that shows this, yet you want to ignore it now. Why would you cite those articles in the first place? Your opinion on this matter cannot trump the demonstrable facts.

You can beg to disagree all you want, but until you provide some evidence to show that they are not, your opinion is irrelevant. The reason that so much is shared in common between humans and the other apes is common descent. This goes for dogs and cats as well. In addition, we have far more in common with chimpanzees, indeed all other monkeys, than cats and dogs share in common. Furthermore, you never explained why you think the humorous plays a role in bipedal locomotion.

Now you are proposing one of David Berlinski's arguments. Tell me, what is the relevance of proposing a mathematical account of all the changes between any fossil species to an extant species? Do you even know how biology works? However, I am going to link to a video that destroys Berlinski's argument.

Humans are synapsids. This is demonstrable, just like humans are apes. Your ignorance of this subject does not equal an argument. Furthermore, Dimetrodon is not a dinosaur-like creature. Can you even define Dinosauria or synapsid in a biological context? By the way, I see no definition of cladistics or anagenetic.

Moreover, that last message from you was pathetic. When are you going to learn that your opinion (right or wrong) is not an argument? Furthermore, simply because you think something is stupid does not make it wrong. In addition, you need to stop arguing against the evidence you are presenting. To state this again, every piece of evidence you have cited thus far about the hominins goes against the claims you are making about them. It only makes you look foolish, which is amusing nonetheless.



Nov 18, 2010
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
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he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

Remensum wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: limits

Well, the point is that there is no attempt at evolutionary cladistics ,as applied to gene families, as there is with species of organism. If I don't cite any papers, it is because none exist which even intimate such a relationship. But if you care to look at the sequence of a cyclin and that of an opsin, you will see no evidence of a common ancestry. I suggest you test this using Protein BLAST:

http://blast.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Blast.cgi?PAGE=Proteins

Enter the accession numbers NP_000530.1 (rhodopsin) and NP_444284.1 (Cyclin D1) and see if BLAST can find an alignment indicative of an evolutionary relationship. You will find that they might as well come from two different worlds. Why? Because they belong to two distinct "kinds" of protein. "Type" is just a synonym for "Kind". The obvious inference to make is that the cyclin and opsin templates were separately and specially created.

I'm afraid you will find in your previous correspondence you suggested that Ard ramidus was part of the Homo lineage and that modern humans were simply improved variants along the Ardipithecus/Australopithecus clade. The fact is that the direct lineage of human ancestry proposed in the 60s has collapsed. We have had to exclude taxon after taxon as more evidence emerged.There are far more questions than there are answers.

The post-cranial evidence for habilines is fragmentary and poor. Homo rudolfensis has no post-cranial evidence whatsoever. The habilines, and also A sediba, do indeed possess cranio-dental features which are similar to those found in Homo ergaster (including Dmanisi) and not in other australopiths. However I dispute some of the brain sizes for habilis based on a small piece of skull - only OH24 and KNM ER 1813 offer complete crania and they average at 550cc which is easily within australopith range.Therefore, these facts are insufficient to establish an evolutionary relationship with ergaster/erectus.

Cats are felids and dogs are canids - two distinct families of "carnivore" (a completely arbitrary order of mammal). I would say that they share more in common with each other than do humans and apes. Certainly, each shares more in common with hyenas. I have defined clear differences between humans and apes that include obligate bipedalism, the use of language and abstract thought, the ability or inability to brachiate, and so on.

For goodness sake, the human cranium is not in any where near like that of a synapsid type! Dimetrodon (a true synapsid) is far more similar to Spinosaurus (a diapsid) than it is to Homo sapiens. Evolutionary systematics has obviously gone completely fruity.

Berlinski's point about the evolution of the whale is lucid. Evidently, you don't understand basic concepts of mathematics and engineering. For a cow to evolve in a whale, you need a series of coordinated and related changes that are also synchronous. You also need intermediates which are viable - at what point does the cow lose it legs and this prove to be reproductively advantageous? Berlinksi is correct in that nobody has outlined the tens of thousands of changes needed to go from Pakicetus (a wolf-like creature) to a modern whale. Mathematics is the basis of all the sciences - except evolutionary biology.

Nov 20, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: limits

Really, the obvious inference is they were separately and specially created? Well, if it is so obvious, why do I not see it? The most you can say is that they had separate origins (if you are correct in the first place), which is far different from saying they were specially created. It seems you are trying to support a preconceived notion, which is not very good science.

Correct, I did state that, and the reason I did is that I read the citations you have provided. Perhaps if you took the time to look into them you would have seen the same thing.

Of course, the direct lineage of humans proposed in the 60s has collapsed. No one is arguing for that. The reason it has collapsed is that more discoveries have been made. You provide no sources for your claim of excluding taxa after taxa (let alone use the correct form of the word). In addition, of course we have more questions, which is how science works. Do you not understand that?

Correct, about H. rudolfensis, which is why I have never talked about it. I have only talked about the habilines. So bringing it up is irrelevant. In addition, you still have not shown why H. sapiens is not simply a "specialized" and "advanced" Ar. ramidus or Au. afarensis. You have simply stated your opinion (which was based on ignorance) and provided no evidence.

Your next comment makes no sense what so ever. You are claiming that since Au. habilis possessed an endocranial capacity of ~550cc it excludes it from having an evolutionary relationship with H. ergaster/erectus? However, in the same paragraph, you go on to claim that the Dmanisi specimens are included with H. ergaster (I can tell you right now that there is much debate as to whether they represent a new species or belong to either H. ergaster/erectus or Au. habilis).

We know that the other Australopiths (excluding the robust species) had an endocranial capacity of ~352 -- 499 cc (Conroy, 2005). The habilines endocranial capacity was 550cc (un-cited by you) (~500 -- 650 cc in Conroy, 2005) and now, even before including the Dmanisi specimens, H. erectus possessed an endocranial capacity ~647-1228 cc. Furthermore, we have the dates of the other Australopiths (excluding the robust species) as ~4 -- 2.5 million years ago (Ma), Au. habilis as ~2.3-1.6 Ma, and the earliest appearance of H. ergaster is ~1.8 Ma (Asfaw, 1999). Wow, looking at that sure seems like a gradual build up of endocranial capacity over 2.2 million years. Again, every citation you have cited thus far has included Au. habilis in the human lineage.

First off, the clade carnivora is not "completely arbitrary". Stating something like that only exposes your ignorance of cladistics. Second, more of your incredulity I see. I do not know how many times I have to say this to you, humans are apes (Hominoidea). This is demonstrable. So stating that you think cats and dogs have more in common than humans do with other apes is preposterous and only exposes your ignorance of this subject. Furthermore, correct, obligate bipedalism and speech are features that separate us from the other apes (there is much debate about whether chimpanzees and bonobos have abstract thoughts); however, those do not exclude us from the apes. This is a point I already agreed with on November 4th.

However, I am still surprised that you would bring up brachiation again after I demonstrated on November 7th (with citations) that humans and the other apes are the only old world primates that can brachiate. Do I really need to repeat myself for you? Our ability to brachiate is just one of the features that classify us with the other apes. From the cusps of our teeth to our tailless bottoms (and much in-between), human anatomy screams ape anatomy. This is why in 1758; Linnaeus placed us in the order primate along with the family great ape. Therefore, until you are able to demonstrate the error in classifying humans as apes, that fact will stand. My first suggestion is to learn about anatomy and stop making basic mistakes, such as claiming humans cannot brachiate.

Your second to last paragraph almost made me wet my pants, because I was laughing so hard. First off, what metric of analysis allows you to say "...the human cranium is not in any where near like that of a synapsid type!" I asked you to define synapsid for me and you did not (there are many words you have not defined). If you knew the definition of a synapsid, it would be clear to you why humans are synapsids. However, to get to the point that almost made me wet myself, "Dimetrodon is far more similar to Spinosaurus than it is to Homo sapiens." Based on that statement I can safely assume that you believe whales, sea turtles, and fish are more similar to each other because they all have fins and not "hands" and "legs". The sails on the backs of Dimetrodon and Spinosaurus are explained with convergent evolution, just like whales, sea turtles, and fish. Furthermore, nothing found on the back of an animal makes it a synapsid or diapsid; that term has to do with the cranium.

Agreed, math is the basis for all science. That is why it is extensively used in evolutionary ecology. They take into account fitness trade offs using evolution and population dynamics. That is also, why it is used in determining the rate of gene fixation in populations (I remember someone citing studies showing that). I asked this last time and I am going to ask it again, "what is the relevance of proposing a mathematical account of all the changes between any fossil species to an extant species" (this was the point of the video I linked)? Furthermore, you claim that many of the changes needed to be synchronous, yet provide no evidence to support this. Your opinion on this matter is moot. Claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

Furthermore, Pakicetus was as wolf-like as a Tasmanian wolf was. This is to say, they are only as wolf-like as a whale is fish-like.

If you want this discussion to continue, than I am going to have to see that you know the first thing about anything you have commented on thus far. Define cladistics, brachiation, synapsid, and anagenetic. Without knowing these basic terms, everything I say to you seems to be flying right over your head.

Citation

Asfaw, B; White, T; Lovejoy, O; Latimer, B; Simpson, S; Suwa, G (1999). "Australopithecus garhi: a new species of early hominid from Ethiopia". Science 284 (5414): 629--35.
Conroy, G. (2005). Reconstructing Human Origins. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Nov 22, 2010


Remensum wrote:Brain sizes

I was referring to the fact that only two complete cranial vaults have been uncovered for Homo habilis: OH24 (590cc) and KNM-ER 1813 (510cc).

https://www.msu.edu/~heslipst/contents/ ... abilis.htm

According to wiki's article on brain sizes, it is obvious that there is much variation within ape species and humans:There seems to be a 33% rule regarding intraspecies variation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranial_capacity

Take the average and increase or decrease it by a third to get the upper and lower limits of normal range. For example, with gorillas, we should expect a lower limit of 375cc and upper limit of 667cc for an average of 500cc. It can go higher and lower but this is unusual.

The Australopith genus averages at 450cc, so this means we should find nothing extraordinary if we find a specimen with a cranial capacity of 600cc. So, the habilines are not "transitional" at all - they are just large-brained australopiths.as (Wood and Collard 1999) have clearly stated. Modern humans can go right down to 600cc in the case of children and adult microcephalics. Some of the smallest ergaster/erectus specimens: D2700 and KNM-ER 4270 are those of children.

I cited two papers (Spoor et al. 2007) and (Berger et al. 2010) which suggest that Homo habilis was a "sister species" of Homo ergaster and that any anagenetic relationship was unlikely in large part due to the fact that they were contemporaries (1.9 to 1.4 MYA).

The Carnivora includes dogs, cats, ferrets, bears ,martens, seals and just about any flesh-eating mammal. It is *not* a valid order - it just lumps mammals into a group because of their dietary habits and not because of any common ancestry. There have been even more bizarre attempts to link the hyrax and elephant into the same order.

It is bullshit, just as it is bogus to suppose that the human cranium is that of a *synapsid* like Dimetrodon. I mean do I have to spell out all of the differences? Do you really believe in coincidence (convergence)? Spinosaurus and Dimetrodon represent two distinct evolutionary clades, and yet they just happen to have sails on their backs?

Finally, you persist in asserting that humans can brachiate. We can't. We can try, but our bodies are just not designed for that mode of locomotion: gorillas, orangutans, chimps, bonobos and gibbons can live an arboreal life whereas we cannot.

Nov 23, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Brain sizes

I see no definitions, so is there really a point in continuing with you? "If you want this discussion to continue, than I am going to have to see that you know the first thing about anything you have commented on thus far. Define cladistics, brachiation, synapsid, and anagenetic. Without knowing these basic terms, everything I say to you seems to be flying right over your head."

However, I think I will push on, because I see more blatant falsehoods trying to pass as facts. In addition, I can just quote my past arguments because, unlike you, I used facts and evidence to support them. You still have not shown how they are wrong, only exposed your ignorance of the subject and asserted falsehoods in place of facts. When will you learn that your incredulity does not equal an argument? Furthermore, your misrepresentation of scientists can be construed as a form of lying. However, I think it stems from the fact that you do not read the articles you cite.

You first make a big fuss about the brain size of the habilines claiming, "...they are just large-brained australopiths." Agreed, they are large brained Australopiths. However, you claim, "the habilines are not transitional at all..." even though they have large brains. In addition, you cite Wood and Collard (very poorly, I might add) to support this claim, but they do not agree with your point. Wood and Collard (1999) explain how Au. habilis should be classified as an Australopith because it is lacking features that would include it in the genus Homo. Yet nowhere in there paper do they exclude Au. habilis from the human lineage. Re-classifying them as an Australopith does not exclude them from being transitional.

It is also cute how you moved away from using primary sources. I wonder why. However, nothing is going to over turn the observed facts that I explained in my last post. "We know that the other Australopiths (excluding the robust species) had an endocranial capacity of ~352 -- 499 cc (Conroy, 2005). The habilines endocranial capacity was 550cc (un-cited by you) (~500 -- 650 cc in Conroy, 2005) and now, even before including the Dmanisi specimens, H. erectus possessed an endocranial capacity ~647-1228 cc. Furthermore, we have the dates of the other Australopiths (excluding the robust species) as ~4 -- 2.5 million years ago (Ma), Au. habilis as ~2.3-1.6 Ma, and the earliest appearance of H. ergaster is ~1.8 Ma (Asfaw, 1999)."

I think the problem here stems from your miss understanding of what a transitional fossil is. Therefore, along with the other terms I have asked you to define, please define transitional fossil if you wish for this to go forward.

First off, you never cited a Berger et al. 2010 paper. You alluded to Berger's et al. paper, "Australopithecus sediba: A New Species of Homo-like Australopith from South Africa" on November 1st. However, you never mention the authors, nor cited a year it was published. Whatever happened to "...yes, citations are necessary in science..." Perhaps you are unaware of how to properly cite an article, but I would find that hard to believe coming from someone that claims to write scientific articles.

Second, your claim made about Berger et al. is simply false (if this is indeed the paper you are talking about). If you read there paper, they state how they believe their Australopith (Au. sediba) is the link between the other Australopiths and the first species of Homo. Nevertheless, this is not excluding the habilines because Berger et al. (2010) refer to the habilines as H. habilis. And here is a quote from the paper in case you do not believe me, "If the latter
possibility holds, it could suggest a phylogenetic
sequence from Au. sediba to H. habilis to
H. erectus" (p. 203). Let me just state that I do not agree with them and agree with you that Au. sediba was just a late lived Australopith with no lineage to humans.

Moving on now. You are misrepresenting Spoor et al. (again) as I pointed out on November 14th, "It is funny because Spoor et al (2007) are not claiming that the habilines did not give rise to H. erectus, only that there is no anagenetic relationship between the two taxa. In addition, as I pointed out on November 2nd, no one expects evolution to work through strictly anagenetic terms. Spoor et al. point out that Au. habilis still could have led to H. erectus because their fossils are found earlier in the fossil record." I think if you know the definition for transitional fossil and anagenetic you would not be having this problem.

You are just simply wrong about the clade Carnivora. I do not know what you mean by saying it is not a valid order (are you using an old classification system?) However, Carnivora is a valid clade; if you understood cladistics (you can start by defining it), this would make sense. The clade does lump animals together based on their common ancestry, not there dietary habits. If it did lump animals together based on their dietary habits, than bears would not be in it, and things like whales would.

Yes, please spell out how humans are not synapsids. In order to do that you will have to define synapsid and once you do that you will see that your quest is fruitless.

Whales and sea turtles represent to distinct evolutionary clades, and yet they just happen to have fins on their sides? Again, I take it that you believe whales, fish, and sea turtles have more in common because they all have fins. Nevertheless, to answer your question, yes I do believe in convergent evolution. Convergent evolution is a sign of a good adaptation. Dimetrodon and Spinosaurus would have lived in similar environments that allowed similar adaptations. This is basic biology. That is why whales, fish, and sea turtles all have fins.

I assert nothing and you are making the assertion. Moreover, the reason I know that you are asserting that is because you provide no citations for your claim. However, on November 7th, I stated, "The only old world primates that are able to brachiate are the apes (gibbons, gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans). What allows apes to brachiate is the shape and orientation of our shoulder girdle. Our shoulder girdle is made up of three bones (the humorous, clavicle, and scapula). Unlike the other primates, the ape's shoulder girdle is oriented lateral of the midline whereas in baboons, macaques, and Patas monkeys the shoulder girdle is oriented anterior to the midline (White, 2000). This is basic primate anatomy." Furthermore, the term you want to use is "adapted" not "designed". If you define brachiation, you would understand why humans could brachiate. It is funny; because you do understand it has to do with arboreal life, yet are just not grasping how it works.

I cannot help but laugh at how blatantly wrong you are, yet persist in thinking you are correct. In addition, I am going to restate this; if you wish this discussion to proceed, you are going to have to define a few terms. Those terms are transitional fossil, cladistics, brachiation, synapsid, and anagenetic. Your ignorance of this subject is not a valid argument and frankly, it is very boring.

Citations

Asfaw, B; White, T; Lovejoy, O; Latimer, B; Simpson, S; Suwa, G (1999). "Australopithecus garhi: a new species of early hominid from Ethiopia". Science 284 (5414): 629--35.
Berger L. R., Ruiter D. J, Churchill S. E, Schmid P., Carlson K. J., Dirks P. H. G. M, and Kibii J. M. (2010) Australopithecus sediba: A New Species of Homo-Like Australopith from South Africa. Science. p. 195-204
Conroy, G. (2005). Reconstructing Human Origins. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Spoor F., Leakey M. G., Gathogo P. N., Brown F. H., Antà³n S. C., McDougall I., Kiarie C., Manthi F. K., & Leakey L. N. (2007).Implications of new early Homo fossils from Ileret, east of Lake Turkana, Kenya". Nature 448 (448): 688--691
White, T. (2000). Human Osteology. Academic Press.
Wood B., and Collard M. (1999). The Human Genus. Science 2 p. 65-71

Nov 23, 2010
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IsotelusBloggerUser avatarPosts: 317Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

Remensum wrote: Finally, you persist in asserting that humans can brachiate. We can't. We can try, but our bodies are just not designed for that mode of locomotion: gorillas, orangutans, chimps, bonobos and gibbons can live an arboreal life whereas we cannot.


I'm glad you asked for this guy's definition of brachiation, and no, I don't think he realizes it's implications. The absolute simplest answer he could give you is this: "hand over hand suspensory locomotion". That's it.
I also think it would be a good idea to specify if you two are looking at primates that can brachiate, or primates that are considered brachiators. There's a difference, and you'll see why in a moment.
The anatomical requirements for brachiation are: long, strong arms, shortened/reduced thumbs, short hind limbs, elongated hook-like fingers, and an erect, inflexible spine. We may have some of these characteristics, but primarily for other reasons. So in a way Remensum has a point; Humans are not brachiators. We can, however, brachiate, albeit for only a short period of time. Still, I don't know what point he can prove by showing this since so many of his other facts are wrong.

If this guy is writing a paper, it will be shot down as soon as he publishes it. Despite the fact they can and do climb trees primarily to find food, gorillas, chimps, and bonobos are considered to be terrestrial species (I think you may have already told him that, but just in case). They can brachiate, but they are not necessarily 'designed' to do so.
I also saw in a previous post that he called baboons and macaques arboreal species; this is also not the case.

Orangutans, on the other hand, are not considered true brachiators. Their locomation is Quadrumanous, meaning they travel using both arms and legs.
Gibbons and Siamangs are actually the only primates considered to be true brachiators, among both New World and Old World primates. Spider monkeys and Muriquis can brachiate, but their locomotion is most often aided by their tail. Being unaware of simple facts like these shows me that Remensum hasn't done enough research to even begin writing a paper, let alone successfully debate on the internet.

Well, I hope that helps a bit :) Keep it up!

Oh, ps
For goodness sake, the human cranium is not in any where near like that of a synapsid type! Dimetrodon (a true synapsid) is far more similar to Spinosaurus (a diapsid) than it is to Homo sapiens. Evolutionary systematics has obviously gone completely fruity.


I find this one of the most laughable statements yet; every part of it.
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he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

Isotelus wrote:I also think it would be a good idea to specify if you two are looking at primates that can brachiate, or primates that are considered brachiators. There's a difference, and you'll see why in a moment.


Good point and great following points, however, a discussion like that is far beyond what Remensum can handle. I was hoping to move on to some of the points you made (e.g. gibbons are the only true brachiater and parallel evolution between the apes and Atelinae), but the only reason we are discussing this in the first place is this comment Remensum made on November 4th:

Remensum wrote:The term "hominidae" is just taxonomical verbiage. Humans are NOT apes because they are :

i) Obligate bipeds
ii) Cannot brachiate.
iii) Cannot knuckle-walk
iv) Can use speech and language
v) Have semi-circular canals not suited for arboreal life.
vi) Are fully dextrous.

There are many more differences beyond these basic distinctions. The fact is that apes are arboreal creatures whereas we are terrestrial. Even those apes, such as Patas monkeys, that live on the ground retain their ape morphologies and behavior.


So as you can see, Remensum is making some head way, he no longer thinks Patas monkeys are apes. That only took about a month. However, the only thing I am trying to do is show him that humans can brachiate.

Isotelus wrote:If this guy is writing a paper, it will be shot down as soon as he publishes it.


Actually, he has already published a paper (at least one that I know of). He cited it on November 16th (Bozorgmehr, JEH. (2010). Natural selection as a paradigm of opportunism. Journal of Bioeconomics; DOI: 10.1007/s10818-010-9094-5). I was unable to obtain it using my old universities e-library. I can only imagine how bad it is. I already found him quote mining once in this discussion and simply misrepresenting many other citations. I have a feeling that his paper is much of the same.

Isotelus wrote:Oh, ps
For goodness sake, the human cranium is not in any where near like that of a synapsid type! Dimetrodon (a true synapsid) is far more similar to Spinosaurus (a diapsid) than it is to Homo sapiens. Evolutionary systematics has obviously gone completely fruity.


I find this one of the most laughable statements yet; every part of it.


Oh, yes. That made me laugh as well. That is why I placed it on the thread "The stupidest thing a creationists has ever said to you." I have left many gems from this discussion on that thread.

If you ever want to discuss anatomy or paleontology, just send me a message. I think it would be nice to chat with someone that does not deny reality.
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Anachronous RexLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 2008Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:07 pmLocation: Kansas City, MO Gender: Male

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

This is precisely why we must invent a device to punch people over the Internet.
Our prefrontal lobes are too small. Much too small. That's a problem of the birth canal, I'm very sorry to say for those that like their birth canals... tight.
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Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:07 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

Remensum wrote:Re: Re: Brain sizes

If you need definitions, I suggest you use google (:define).

Frankly, I don't know what you are now arguing having retreated and re-asserted your position about 10 times now (especially on the habilines). I was not moving away from primary sources...I was instead using sound visual data to better illustrate my point. Here again is the complete list of Habilis fossils:

https://www.msu.edu/~heslipst/contents/ ... abilis.htm

As you should see, only KNM-ER 1813 (510cc) and OH24 (590cc) offer complete cranial vaults. Therefore, we should estimate a habiline brain size based on these and not on bits of a jawbone or fragments of skull from other finds, which leaves much to interpretation.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/oh24.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/1813.html

The fact is that the habilines are (certainly post-cranially) simply variant australopiths, and probably don't even represent a separate species. I am not impressed by your tiresome nitpicking and obfuscation. (Berger et al. 2010) refer to (Spoor et al. 2007) and agree that habilines did *not* evolve as a species into ergaster - there was therefore *no anagenetic relationship*. They are not a transitional taxon as far as the human lineage is concerned. They represent yet another evolutionary dead end unless you want to *presume* (but with no supporting data) that a few branched off to found the ergaster line. That is, however, an *unfalsifiable* claim. Unfortunately, you don't see why this is unscientific - so what is the point in me trying to get through to you on other subjects?

Frankly, your knowledge (especially about genetics) and the scientific method sucks - you refuse to learn and resort to ex recto assertions and arguments from personal gullibility. You cannot be saved. You just believe what you *want* to believe.

Nov 25, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: Brain sizes

Your inability to define simple scientific terms is telling, but typical among creationists. The reason I am asking you to define those terms is that I do not believe you truly understand them. Nevertheless, "...I am going to restate this; if you wish this discussion to proceed, you are going to have to define a few terms. Those terms are transitional fossil, cladistics, brachiation, synapsid, and anagenetic."

You might want to look up Dunning-Kruger effect as well.

However, I just have to point this out because it made me laugh. "(Berger et al. 2010) refer to (Spoor et al. 2007) and agree that habilines did *not* evolve as a species into ergaster - there was therefore *no anagenetic relationship*." How many times am I going to have to say you are correct, there is no anagenetic relationship. However, if you knew what anagenetic meant you would understand that this is not a problem. No one expects evolution to work through strictly anagenetic means. In addition, go back and read what I have already written about the Spoor et al. paper. Alternatively, you could take the time to read the article.

Furthermore, I have stated many times genetics is not my cup of tea. However, this whole discussion has demonstrated your lack of knowledge about anthropology and cladistics. I thought you were going to spell out the differences between humans and Dimetrodon?

I am going to leave it at this because your message brings nothing new to the table. I truly believe that if you learned the definition of those terms you would see how ignorant you have been during this whole discussion.

Nov 26, 2010
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IsotelusBloggerUser avatarPosts: 317Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

Isotelus wrote:
I also think it would be a good idea to specify if you two are looking at primates that can brachiate, or primates that are considered brachiators. There's a difference, and you'll see why in a moment.

Good point and great following points, however, a discussion like that is far beyond what Remensum can handle. I was hoping to move on to some of the points you made (e.g. gibbons are the only true brachiater and parallel evolution between the apes and Atelinae), but the only reason we are discussing this in the first place is this comment Remensum made on November 4thRemensum wrote:
The term "hominidae" is just taxonomical verbiage. Humans are NOT apes because they are :

i) Obligate bipeds
ii) Cannot brachiate.
iii) Cannot knuckle-walk
iv) Can use speech and language
v) Have semi-circular canals not suited for arboreal life.
vi) Are fully dextrous.

There are many more differences beyond these basic distinctions. The fact is that apes are arboreal creatures whereas we are terrestrial. Even those apes, such as Patas monkeys, that live on the ground retain their ape morphologies and behavior.


So as you can see, Remensum is making some head way, he no longer thinks Patas monkeys are apes. That only took about a month. However, the only thing I am trying to do is show him that humans can brachiate.


Ha, right. Forgot about that list. Interesting, because Orangutans don't knuckle-walk. It's still rather pointless to bring up the fact that we can't kuckle-walk, because being 'obligate bipeds', why would we even need to? The other apes are capable of precision and power grips just like we are, too. I won't even get into point v) :lol:
I absolutely love the last sentence. "Even those apes, such as Patas monkeys." :lol: I'm glad he finally caught on...

Here's something cool about Spider monkeys, if you aren't already aware: they don't have any thumbs :P
Just for the record, I love covergent evolution. It might be a cool idea to illustrate parallels between spider monkey and chimp social organizations, if something like that comes up.

Actually, he has already published a paper (at least one that I know of). He cited it on November 16th (Bozorgmehr, JEH. (2010). Natural selection as a paradigm of opportunism. Journal of Bioeconomics; DOI: 10.1007/s10818-010-9094-5). I was unable to obtain it using my old universities e-library. I can only imagine how bad it is. I already found him quote mining once in this discussion and simply misrepresenting many other citations. I have a feeling that his paper is much of the same.


...Oh :cry: I could try and find it. I may have access through my university,

Oh, yes. That made me laugh as well. That is why I placed it on the thread "The stupidest thing a creationists has ever said to you." I have left many gems from this discussion on that thread.
If you ever want to discuss anatomy or paleontology, just send me a message. I think it would be nice to chat with someone that does not deny reality.


Woo! I'm not as knowledgeable on anatomy, but I love me some paleontology. I hope you like trilobites :D

I am going to leave it at this because your message brings nothing new to the table.


The last time I asked a creationist to bring something new to the table, I got a theory about alien invasions. I guess I asked for it :| .
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he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

Isotelus wrote:Interesting, because Orangutans don't knuckle-walk.


Yeah I know. I pointed that out to him and he has never brought it up again. The funnier thing is that he thought Patas monkeys were apes, thus he thought they knuckle-walked as well. That should tell you something right there.

Isotelus wrote:I absolutely love the last sentence. "Even those apes, such as Patas monkeys." :lol: I'm glad he finally caught on...


That also made it onto the list of things that made me laugh.

Isotelus wrote:Here's something cool about Spider monkeys, if you aren't already aware: they don't have any thumbs :P


Yes, I knew that. They are my favorite new world monkey.

Isotelus wrote:It might be a cool idea to illustrate parallels between spider monkey and chimp social organizations, if something like that comes up.


I highly doubt that this discussion will ever get that deep. I have started to quote myself back at him because we are going around in circles. However, something else that is interesting about spider monkeys is that they sometimes score higher on cognitive tests than chimpanzees. One of my professors would call them new world apes because of how similar they were.

In my opinion, we were shafted. It would have been awesome to have a prehensile tail as they do.

Isotelus wrote:...Oh :cry: I could try and find it. I may have access through my university,


You do not have to; I am not that interested in reading it. I think I have seen all the tricks this clown has. This was not a show worth seeing twice.

Isotelus wrote:Woo! I'm not as knowledgeable on anatomy, but I love me some paleontology. I hope you like trilobites :D


Invertebrate-paleontologist I see. I took a semester of that. It was very interesting stuff.

Isotelus wrote:The last time I asked a creationist to bring something new to the table, I got a theory about alien invasions. I guess I asked for it :| .


:lol:
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Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

Remensum wrote:Thanks for capitulating

I told you, go to google and find the appropriate definition. As you are unable to do this, I have done so myself:

Transitional fossil: Remains of intermediary forms of life that illustrate an evolutionary transition (popularly known as "missing links").

Cladistics:A system of biological taxonomy based on the quantitative analysis of comparative data and used to reconstruct cladograms summarizing the (assumed) phylogenetic relations and evolutionary history of groups of organisms.

Anagenesis: Known as "phyletic change," is the evolution of species involving an entire population rather than a branching event, as in cladogenesis.

Synapsid: extinct reptile having a single pair of lateral temporal openings in the skull.

Here is something else "kinds":

In this paper....

http://www.biology-direct.com/content/4/1/46

.....the authors claim that the "divergence of the duplicate enzymes has been a major process in the generation of different *kinds* of bacteria".

Gee, an evolutionist paper that makes reference to a "creationist" term. Holy crap!

As for the habilines, I am afraid it does matter. The whole point of the fossil record , as far as evolutionary theory goes, is to find evidence for gradual change within *populations*.

Sure, some freaky habiline *could* have been the progenitor of the entire Homo ergaster population but we have no evidence to support this so why should we accept it? The habilines were regarded for decades as having gradually evolved into ergaster/erectus and the fossil data used to account for this. This is now known to be a false interpretation.

I'd like to ask you a question: what are the *similarities* between synapsids like Dimetrodon and humans. You are the one making the extraordinary claim, so the burden of evidence should be placed on you.

Nov 26, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Thanks for capitulating

Wow, amazing. It only took me asking three or for times before you finally demonstrated that you did not know the definitions, as I suspected, and had to look them up on Google. It is hilarious that you think typing a term into Google will produce the correct definition of a word, let alone its correct use in biology, anthropology, or paleontology. However, I asked for five terms, you only supplied four. I wonder why you have not defined brachiation yet.

Three out of four of your definitions were mostly correct, but can be clarified a bit more. However, you did not cite the source for any of them (besides Google). Now let us see what the real definitions are for those terms. All definitions are from http://www.encyclo.co.uk/

Transitional fossil - `Transitional fossils` are the fossilized remains of `transitional forms` of life that illustrate an evolutionary transition. They can be identified by their retention of certain primitive (plesiomorphic) traits in comparison with their more derived relatives, as they are defined in the study of cladistics.

Cladistics - a methodology for reconstructing evolutionary relationships of taxa, both living and extinct, by using the distribution of shared derived characters.

Anagenesis - The process by which evolutionary change along a single lineage creates a new species without any splitting of the phylogenetic tree (see cladogenesis).

Synapsid - n. A vertebrate distinguished by a skull with one pair of openings in the sidebehind the eyes, e.g., mammals and their close relatives.

As you can plainly see, your definition of synapsid was wrong.

Furthermore, your messages never cease to amaze me in their humor. First off, in order for "kind" to be a "creationist term" it needs to be rigorously defined. I asked you on November 17th to define "kind" and you refused. Since there is no rigorous definition for the term "kind", it is safe to assume that the authors of that article were using it in its lay form (because there is no other form). Please, work on your reading comprehension.

Second, are you aware that there is more to a scientific article than just the abstract? It seems like the only thing you ever read and quote is from the abstract. The funny thing is that I wrote the first to sentences of this paragraph before going to the link and confirming what I already knew to be true.

Well it would be nice to find gradual change within populations in the fossil record, but again, the fossil record is not complete by any stretch of the imagination. To quote what I said on November 17th; "However, this is not a shortcoming of the theory of evolution; this is a shortcoming of the geological record. I have already pointed this out to you on August 28th. It is amazing that we have any fossils in the first place. In addition, as has already been pointed out as well, even if we had no fossils, we still have abundant genetic as well as taxonomic evidence of evolution."

First off, correct, for decades the habilines were thought to have gradually evolved into later Homo. New finds have come along and changed that. Nevertheless, like I pointed out on November 4th, "It seems like you are upset that science is a self-correcting process. Would you rather the anthropologists remained wrong and dogmatic about their beliefs like religion? New findings overturn old ideas in science, which is how science works." As I have pointed out to you before, know one now thinks there was an anagenetic relationship between the habilines and H. erectus. Now that you know the proper definition of anagenetic, you should understand why this is not a problem.

Second, you claim there to be no evidence. How wrong can you get? As I pointed out on November 17th; "Asfaw et al. (1999), if you would have bothered to read their paper, have shown a cladogram on page 634 (figure 5) that shows the relation of Ar. ramidus, Au. afarensis, Au. garhi, and many other Australopiths, plus early-Homo (which means the habilines)." Now that you know the proper definition for cladistics, you should see how this is evidence as well. Can you now see why I would tell you that your ignorance was not an answer?

Now, after boldly claiming to "spell out all the differences" between humans and synapsids you are asking me for the similarities. Well seeing as how I answer all your questions and you seem to ignore most of mine, why change a thing now?

By definition, a cladogram produces evolutionary relationships by calculating the shared derived traits (i.e. similarities). That means producing a cladogram that includes humans in the synapsid clade shows that they have shared derived traits. Sidor (2001) presents a cladogram, which can be found on page 1422 and continues onto page 1423 (figure 3) and clearly places humans, along with all the other mammals, in the clade Theriodontia, which is placed within Therapsida, which is placed within Synapsida. Sidor even included Dimetrodon in the cladogram, which grouped it within Synapsida, but outside Therapsida. Enough said.

Citation

Asfaw, B; White, T; Lovejoy, O; Latimer, B; Simpson, S; Suwa, G (1999). "Australopithecus garhi: a new species of early hominid from Ethiopia". Science 284 (5414): 629--35.
Sidor C. A. (2001). Simplification as a trend in synapsid cranial evolution. Evolution. 55; 7 p 1419-1442.

Nov 27, 2010


Remensum wrote:Re: Re: Thanks for capitulating

Sure. Maybe you should contact the authors of the paper and ask them how they define the word "kind" when they were so ready to use it with reference to bacteria! You do know that the word "genus" means "kind" in Latin? How do you define a genus?

I'm really laughing how you try and say that everyone is wrong except you. I guess all the accepted definitions used on the Web are wrong but you somehow are always right??

And, no, I am not wrong about synapsids. They were *reptiles* (often referred to as mammal-like reptiles), and they are regarded as such because they did have a single pair of lateral temporal openings in the skull. Dimetrodon, however, was no mammal, and modern mammals are not simply evolved synapsid reptiles.

Now, what are the similarities between Dimetrodon and Homo sapiens? Have you even looked at the two skulls for both creatures?

http://www.hilaryshepherd.com/rantsnrav ... _skull.jpg

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XyF9j-qeOLU/S ... G_3249.jpg

Please, do tell.

As for habilines, you obviously don't understand the import of Spoor's paper. Homo ergaster and habilis apparently *co-existed* in the same environment for 500,000 years! This is a *major problem* because it begs the question as to why, in your view and others, some habilines may have branched off to found the ergaster line while most did not. What was the reproductive advantage in evolving into a human in the first place? Why were the same selective pressures not in force regarding the other habilines?

The only logical inferences you can make are that habilis and ergaster were instead sister species who shared a common ancestor (evolutionist explanation), or that they represent two separate origins (creationist explanation). Either way, habilis cannot be used as an example of a "transitional fossil" in the human lineage. It may represent some advanced australopith, although A sediba is perhapsmore so in some respects, but that it is all.

The fossil record is massive for extinct apes - far more so than for extant species. But there is no evidence of a direct lineage linking chimp-like apes with modern humans. There are just ancient apes and ancient humans.

Nov 27, 2010
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:15 pm
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IsotelusBloggerUser avatarPosts: 317Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

the authors claim that the "divergence of the duplicate enzymes has been a major process in the generation of different *kinds* of bacteria".

Gee, an evolutionist paper that makes reference to a "creationist" term. Holy crap!


A bunch of holy crap indeed.

Isotelus wrote:
Here's something cool about Spider monkeys, if you aren't already aware: they don't have any thumbs


Yes, I knew that. They are my favorite new world monkey.



Nice. They really are interesting. I watched a movie a few days ago that was followed a group of White-faced Capuchins, Mantled Howlers, and Spider monkeys. It was really cool when they all found the same fig tree and the infants from the different groups began to play together. The Spider monkey kids ran circles around the Howler kids :lol:. But I would have to say my favorite New World monkeys are the Callitrichids.

In my opinion, we were shafted. It would have been awesome to have a prehensile tail as they do.


No retractable claws,
no opposable toes,
no prehensile tail,
no compound eyes,
no fangs, no wings..
.. SIGHHH...
-- Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson :)

You do not have to; I am not that interested in reading it. I think I have seen all the tricks this clown has. This was not a show worth seeing twice.


Haha, fair enough. I probably wouldn't even be able to find it.

Invertebrate-paleontologist I see. I took a semester of that. It was very interesting stuff.


Actually, I prefer vertebrates. I really only get interested in invertebrates when talking about trilobites and the Cambrian biota. Other than that my main interests are Devonian fish, marine reptiles, Hadrosaurs, and lastly, wanting to eventually be an ornithologist, our lovely feathered friends (and that includes the ones with teeth ;) ).

Isotelus wrote:The last time I asked a creationist to bring something new to the table, I got a theory about alien invasions. I guess I asked for it :| .


:lol:[/quote]

True story. I asked him where the evidence was for alien invasions, and he said he didn't have any; it was just a gut feeling. I suggested indigestion. Never heard from him again.
Punnet square summer camp: Be there or be square!
Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:20 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: Thanks for capitulating

Well, if you would be willing to rigorously define "kind", than I might bother looking into contacting the author(s) or even just reading the paper to see what form they meant in their publication. However, seeing as how there is no rigorous definition for "kind", why would anyone assume that it was used in any other form but its lay form?

I would define genus as a taxonomic category including one or more species with a presumed recent common ancestor (definition 4 at http://www.encyclo.co.uk). However, it seems as if you are defining "kind" to mean genus? Is this correct?

"I guess all the accepted definitions used on the Web are wrong but you somehow are always right?" You are kidding right? Are you claiming, "since it is on the Ethernet it must be true?" I really do not understand this statement. Any joker can create a website and say anything they want. That does not mean what they say is correct. However, please show how I am wrong.

The fact that you think synapsids are extinct exposes how wrong you are. I cited a peer-reviewed article that demonstrated how mammals are synapsids. Your ignorance of this subject does not equal an argument. Furthermore, I never stated Dimetrodon was a mammal; you really need to work on your reading comprehension. Again, what authority do you have to state, "...modern mammals are not simply evolved synapsids?" It is amazing and amusing that you think your incredulity is some how an argument. Your ignorance will not change the facts that I have already cited.

Do you really want to know the similarities between the skulls of H. sapiens and Dimetrodon? Well, in Sidor (2001) on page 1424, table 1, presents all the features that were counted on all the skulls and on page 1440 -- 1401, in appendix 2, Sidor gives the character counts of each species skull based on those features. Dimetrodon spp. and H. sapiens are included in this paper. This means you are able to, using the table and appendix, determine all the traits that H. sapiens and Dimetrodon spp. have in common. Happy reading.

Yes, the habilines and H. erectus co-existed in the same environments for ~500,000 years. Guess what, chimpanzees and gorillas live in the same environment right now and not to long ago, humans lived alongside both as hunter/gatherers. What is your point? Are you trying to claim that because they lived in the same environment they had the same niche? Just because to very similar creatures live in the same environment does not mean they have the same niche (e.g. gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans). So I do not see how this is a major problem, except for your limited understanding of this subject.

However, you are correct. What would have been the selective pressure that would have led a portion of any population to evolve well the other portion does not? Actually, this is a common form of speciation, so common in fact; it has a name, Parapatric and Peripatric speciation. The exact causes for either form are usually unique to the species it is happening to, thus this question can never be answered for fossil species. However, some evidence can be brought to light to support some hypotheses.

Another great point you make is what selective pressures would have led to humans. I think Kaplan et al. (2000) have a great hypothesis for why humans evolved the way they did. Their argument is, basically summed up, as acquiring food packages with higher caloric yield led our species to invest in offspring more (even more than most primates), which in turn led to higher pay offs later in life because the offspring were able to bring back more caloricly dense food packages when they were adults.

However, this again, is just a hypothesis and since it is a hypothesis about something that happened in the past, we can never truly verify if it is accurate. Nevertheless, Kaplan et al. do provide a lot of evidence in support of there position. That is enough on that tangent.

"The only logical inferences you can make are that habilis and ergaster were instead sister species who shared a common ancestor (evolutionist explanation)..." This is one interpretation, however, as I have already pointed out, none of the sources you have used conclude this, they included the habilines in the human lineage.

"...or that they represent two separate origins (creationist explanation)." How is this logical? Do you believe that the habilines and H. erectus spontaneously generated ~2.3 Ma and ~1.8 Ma respectively? Furthermore, again, every source you have cited, thus far, has placed the habilines in the human lineage (thus, making them a transitional fossil). You really need to stop arguing against your own citations. Perhaps if you took the time to read them you would not be having this problem.

Please stop making straw men. I have pointed out to you on several different dates that no one is claiming a direct lineage for any of the fossils. However, as all the sources you have cited thus far have shown, there is abundant evidence to support human evolution in the fossil record. Again, humans are apes, thus any ancient human is also an ancient ape. The fact that you still dispute this demonstrable fact is telling and hilarious.

Citation:

Kaplan H., Hill K., Lancster J. (2000). A theory of human life history evolution: diet, intelligence, and longevity. Evolutionary Anthropology 9: 4 p. 156-185
Sidor C. A. (2001). Simplification as a trend in synapsid cranial evolution. Evolution. 55; 7 p 1419-1442.

Nov 27, 2010


Remensum wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks for capitulating

Define an "ape". I consider myself a human and not an ape. I share certain synapomorphies exclusively with other humans with whom I am able to interbreed with.

This is not so with chimps and gorillas.

It is interesting that "ape" (pithecus) is no longer used in cladistics. Instead, we have hominoid - namely, human-like. Yes, apes are human-like compared to dogs and cats...although my dog looks just like me. But how does that establish that we are apes? The scientific nomenclature suggests that apes are quasi-humans..maybe chimps devolved from humans?

For years, we were told that there was a direct lineage and it was taught in school:

Ramapithecus (later maybe Ardipithecus ramidus)--->A afarensis----->H habilis------>H erectus.....>H hiedelbergensis---->H sapiens----->H sapiens sapiens.

This is now bogus. How many times do you have to make corrections before you realize that you are banging your head against a brick wall? The fossil record is replete with the sudden appearance of new species and biological forms - they appear with no trace or possible ancestry - the australopith genus is a classic example of this (which is why you are desperate to make Ardipithecus ramidus out to be the ancestor of the australopiths).

Before Darwin, the fossil record was interpreted as testifying to a "progressive creationism" and not the transmutation of species which was also current at the time.

I'm going to need a little more than unsubstantiated speculation to be convinced of why ape-like ancestors evolved into humans - natural selection is concerned about reproductive fitness only - do you understand this? As such, nothing should evolve beyond bacteria whose ability to survive, reproduce and adapt is unsurpassed.

Nov 27, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks for capitulating

Ape is laymen for Hominoidea which means a diurnal, large-bodied, social primate that include the traits of frugivory, Y-5 cusp arrangement on the mandibular molars, expanded cerebral cortex, 2,1,2,3, dental arrangement for both the mandible and maxilla, and extended juvenile period.

Furthermore, by stating the fact that you are an ape does not undermine the fact that you are also a human. Just as you accept, (at least I hope you do) that you are a vertebrate and a mammal; you are an ape. I also do not see the point about being able to interbreed. Ape is not a species level designation, so the fact that apes are not able to interbreed does nothing to overturn the fact that you are an ape.

Your third paragraph almost made me wet myself, again. Your ignorance is the funniest thing I have seen in such a long time. However, do you really think cladistics works because things superficially look-a-like (e.g. you looking like your dog)? If this is how you think cladistics works than I now see why you do not accept it. However, this again just shows how grossly ill informed you are about cladistics. I have no time to give you a lecture on how this works, but I do suggest taking the time to learn about it before making such grossly ignorant statements.

You persist in pointing out how science was wrong and think that this somehow validates your case. I think I will just keep quoting myself back at you until you learn.

As stated on November 4th, "It seems like you are upset that science is a self-correcting process. Would you rather the anthropologists remained wrong and dogmatic about their beliefs like religion? New findings overturn old ideas in science, which is how science works." In addition, as stated on November 18th, "As I have stated countless times before, fossils are only one piece of evidence that shows our relationship with the other primates. Your argument is like stating that since we have not found the remains of your great-great grandfather, he must never have existed. Even though we can show you, with genetic evidence, that you had a great-great grandfather who led to you and some distantly related cousins. Again, genetics and other pieces of evidence show our relationship with the other primates. Fossils are just another piece of that evidence."

Before Darwin, people thought many crazy ideas were true. I do not see the relevance of your seventh paragraph. It is especially amazing and humorous because you whine about how science corrected itself about an old idea of direct lineage of hominins and now you are claiming that the older idea of "progressive creationism" is somehow correct. So which is it, are the old ideas correct, or is science wrong for correcting old out dated ideas? Have you ever heard of making an internally consistent argument?

You need "more than unsubstantiated speculation to be convinced of why ape-like ancestors evolved into humans" yet seem to by into "progressive creationism" without the slightest indication of evidence. The most you have is an incomplete fossil record. In addition, every time a new discovery is made you must stick your head in the sand and pretend it does not exist.

Nov 27, 2010


Remensum wrote:To ape or not to ape

Actually, I fall into the genus "Homo"...I am a human.

Australopithecus is a genus of *ape* and is called as such: namely a *pithecine*.

All we have ever dug up are either humans:

Homo ergaster/erectus/hiedelbergensis/neanderthalensis/sapiens

or apes:

Australopithecus habilis/afrarensis/garhi/anamenesis/africanus/sediba

Progressive creationism envisages a gradual process of creation over time involving the sudden appearance of new biological forms and species. That is what the fossil record shows..especially during the Cambrian explosion.

Tell me how the elephant evolved from rodent-like ancestors as evolutionism claims. Can you do that?

Dec 06,2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: To ape or not to ape

After maintaining radio silence for over a week, you retort with more personal incredulity hidden as a semantics game. I already answered the first part of your message with my last message to you (it also seems like you pulled that answer straight from AiG).

"Furthermore, by stating the fact that you are an ape does not undermine the fact that you are also a human. Just as you accept, (at least I hope you do) that you are a vertebrate and a mammal; you are an ape... Ape is not a species level designation, so the fact that apes are not able to interbreed does nothing to overturn the fact that you are an ape."

Your ignorance is not an answer.

The second part of your message is more personal incredulity. Your ignorance of the fossil record is not evidence against evolution. We have discovered many Precambrian life forms in the Ediacaran that show evolution into the Cambrian and well beyond it. However, I feel I have also answered this question in my last message to you when I said, "The most you have is an incomplete fossil record. In addition, every time a new discovery is made you must stick your head in the sand and pretend it does not exist."

Now on to your non sequitur, an elephant can evolve from a "rodent-like" ancestor because the alleles in their population changed, which would have been brought about by the niches around them changing. Now, can you tell me how organisms can spontaneously generate (which would be needed for your idea of progressive creationism)?

Dec 07, 2010


Remensum wrote:Re: Re: To ape or not to ape

Well, I have been busy correcting the proofs for my forthcoming landmark paper and writing another one. I argue my case in the journals, first and foremost.

I am a human...end of story. There is no "pithecine" label in my species name. I think, however, it is true to say that apes are "human-like" and that is why taxonomists label them "hominids". I am a hominid, the apes are hominids...but I am not an ape.

Neither am I a "synapsid" based on some superficial resemblance to an extinct reptile's skull.

It is a little far-fetched to assume that the hyrax and the elephant share a common ancestor - which would have resembled the former. don't you think? The elephant shew, mind you, does have some superficial similarity, but I think you need more than that to suppose that something like it could evolve into an elephant!!!

http://www.puguhills.com/images/forests ... 0shrew.JPG

It gets worse when you consider the artiodactyl order: There are a group of very dissimilar animals like hippos and giraffes, pigs and cows, camels and deer. They are all grouped as distinct families within the order and not as some complex nested hierarchy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Even-toed_ungulate

It is as if they were all separately created, allowing for their common synapomorphy.

Dec 08, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: To ape or not to ape

From my last message, "Now, can you tell me how organisms can spontaneously generate (which would be needed for your idea of progressive creationism)?" I have been asking something similar to this since November 27th and you have ignored it. Therefore, until you answer it I will simply quote it back to you. Do you not find it funny how I am able to answer just about every question you bring forward yet you are happy to ignore most of what I ask of you?

Correcting the proofs. That is a good one. If that were true, you would listen to Febble and use E-prime to rewrite all your articles, including your first one. That one was a joke. You would also learn to use citations properly as Febble and I have both pointed out to you. I agree with SteveF about your last paper when he said this on November 11th "... I'm sure you've managed to cobble something together about evolution and economics so that it suits that particular journal. This doesn't mean that this isn't a plot to sneak a paper into the literature. It clearly is and is transparent." Moreover, you would think that a paper that is half as groundbreaking as you made any of your papers out to be would be published in a journal such as Science or Nature and not Bioeconomics.

By the way, when is your magnum opus coming out (the one that is similar to the Da Vinci Code and will overturn "Darwinism")? You have to be the funniest troll I have ever come across. I think ericmurphy (November 14th) is correct when he states this "Atheistoclast: world heavyweight champion when it comes to delusions of adequacy."

There is no pithecine label in the species name Pan troglodytes, Pan paniscus, Gorilla gorilla, or Pongo pygmaeus. By your logic, that means they are also not apes. Moreover, hominid means great ape. In addition, there is no Mammalia or Chordate label in our species name, yet you accept those as being part of human. Please stop trying to play these silly semantic games. It is quite pathetic.

Furthermore, I cited you peer-reviewed literature that showed how humans are synapsids. You can either accept this demonstrable fact or, as you put it, "wallow in your own ignorance."

You cite nothing (pro or con) for your claims made about the hyrax and elephant. Claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. You also throw another non sequitur (the elephant shrew) on top of your previous non sequitur. However, to quote what I said the last time, since it already answered this question, "...an elephant can evolve from a "rodent-like" ancestor because the alleles in their population changed, which would have been brought about by the niches around them changing."

What metric of analysis allows you to say the animals in the artiodactyl clade are dissimilar (I have asked similar questions to this before and received no answers)? I ask this, because I read where you brought up a point just like this at Talk.Rational about proteins found for most of those animals. Two of the users there were able to construct cladograms using the proteins, which matched very closely to the accepted phylogenetic tree. I myself was also able to reconstruct cladograms based on the proteins provided which matched exactly what the two users were saying. So again, what metric of analysis allows you to say the artiodactyl clade is dissimilar?

Furthermore, how would a "special creation" (i.e. spontaneous generation) of these animals account for synapomorphys between them? Do you even know what that term means?

Dec 09, 2010


Remensum wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: To ape or not to ape

I'll be the one laughing when my next paper is published in the next few days. You won't understand it because you don't have a clue really about genetics (the basis for biological inheritance) and you have the gall claim to be an expert on evolution.

Chimps and gorillas are pithecines, but the term has since fallen into abeyance. You still haven't demonstrated why exactly humans are "synapsids" ..this is just an assertion rather than a scientific observation or inference. I agree that humans would have to have evolved from these reptiles ,as opposed to the sauropsids, but it is still a preposterous suggestion that as no empirical basis whatsoever.

Again, you display an astonishing ignorance.10 year olds know that the evolution textbooks regard the hyrax as the elephant's closest living relative (Kunter et al 2010; Taylor and Sale 1969). Genetic variations can in no way account for the descent of the elephant from a hypothetical ancestor shared with the hyrax: that is positively ridiculous - and what environmental pressures preserved these *massive* changes? The elephant is a unique animals possessing its own order (Proboscidea), the same is true for the hyrax.

The artiodactyl order is essentially a group of mammals that share one basic synapormorphy - I see this as a common design feature than one indicative of a common ancestry. The cladogram also showed that pigs are closer to primates in the myoglobin and rhodopsin genes. The order is organized into families that are distinct : what do hippos and giraffes have in common? What is the evolutionary relationship between pigs and camels ? It is absolutely derisory to assume that all artiodactyls branched off from an primitive even-toed ungulate.

Citations:

Kuntner,M; May-Collado,LJ, Agnarsson, I. (2010) Phylogeny and conservation priorities of afrotherian mammals (Afrotheria, Mammalia). Zoologica Scripta

Taylora, CR; J.B. Sale (1969) Temperature regulation in the hyrax. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Volume 31, Issue 6, , Pages 903-907.

Dec 13, 2010


jebus6kryst wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To ape or not to ape

From December 7th: "... can you tell me how organisms can spontaneously generate (which would be needed for your idea of progressive creationism)?"

First off, I have never claimed to be an expert on anything. Knowing more than you about biology, anthropology, paleontology, and genetics does not make me an expert by any stretch of the imagination. Second, is this the paper submitted to the journal Complexity? As I said on December 9th, "... you would think that a paper that is half as groundbreaking as you made any of your papers out to be would be published in a journal such as Science or Nature and not [Complexity]." In addition, "...when is your magnum opus coming out (the one that is similar to the Da Vinci Code and will overturn "Darwinism")? You have to be the funniest troll I have ever come across."

How can chimpanzees and gorillas be apes when pithecus does not appear in their name? You claimed on December 8th "I am a human...end of story. There is no "pithecine" label in my species name." By the same logic, chimpanzees and gorillas are also not apes. On the other hand, are you finally admitting that humans are also apes by that same logic; it is just that "the term has since fallen into abeyance." Alternatively, perhaps you are finally seeing how pointless your silly semantic games were.

As I stated on November 27th, "[b]y definition, a cladogram produces evolutionary relationships by calculating the shared derived traits (i.e. similarities). That means producing a cladogram that includes humans in the synapsid clade shows that they have shared derived traits. Sidor (2001) presents a cladogram, which can be found on page 1422 and continues onto page 1423 (figure 3) and clearly places humans, along with all the other mammals, in the clade Theriodontia, which is placed within Therapsida, which is placed within Synapsida." Ignoring my messages does not help your case; it only shows that you are unwilling to accept the truth.

"... but it is still a preposterous suggestion that as no empirical basis whatsoever." The funny thing about this statement is that it is untrue about my position, yet demonstrably true about your position on progressive creationism. I think this is the reason why you are never able to answer questions about it.

I never made a claim about whether the hyrax is the closes living relative to the elephant or not, I have always pointed out that it is a non sequitur to this discussion. Please work on your reading comprehension. Moreover, until you are able to present a mechanism that stops evolution (something I have been asking for since November 1st) the answer given on December 7th (i.e. "...an elephant can evolve from a "rodent-like" ancestor because the alleles in their population changed, which would have been brought about by the niches around them changing") will suffice.

Furthermore, until you are able to give me a metric of analysis (besides "I think they look different") for your claim about the elephants/hyrax and/or the artiodactyls, your point is moot. In addition, I will just quote this from my last message as well:

"What metric of analysis allows you to say the animals in the artiodactyl clade are dissimilar (I have asked similar questions to this before and received no answers)? I ask this, because I read where you brought up a point just like this at Talk.Rational about proteins found for most of those animals. Two of the users there were able to construct cladograms using the proteins, which matched very closely to the accepted phylogenetic tree. I myself was also able to reconstruct cladograms based on the proteins provided which matched exactly what the two users were saying. So again, what metric of analysis allows you to say the artiodactyl clade is dissimilar?"

What part of I ran my own cladograms do you not understand, which is how I know you are lying about this claim, "[t]he cladogram also showed that pigs are closer to primates in the myoglobin and rhodopsin genes." In addition, for good measure I will paraphrase ericmurphy by saying, even if you were correct about myoglobin and rhodopsin (which you are not) you need more than just two genes to over turn the accepted phylogenetic tree.

One last thing, I see no point in continuing this discussion if you are 1) not going to answer any questions directed at you, 2) ignore answers to your questions, than re-ask the same question that has already been answered and 3) bring out non-sequiturs in order to distract from the discussion at hand. So do not be surprised if you stop getting messages from me if your actions do not change. Stop acting as a troll, or I will treat you like a troll.

Citation

Sidor C. A. (2001). Simplification as a trend in synapsid cranial evolution. Evolution. 55; 7 p 1419-1442.

Dec 14, 2010


Remensum wrote:Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To ape or not to ape

Sorry for the delay....I was locked in a spat with the editors of the journal, Synthese, over the arbitrary rejection of a letter I sent in response to a series of articles which were essentially a polemic against ID and creationism. I had a furious email exchange with one of the contributors.

Nature only publishes "novel" research and never ever for those people without affiliation. Science is the journal of the AAAS (American Assocation for Atheistic science). My paper is being readied for early online publication - this could be any day now.

Anyway,you don't know more than I do about genetics...that is a blatantly false assertion... but I am sure you think you do. What is your publication record in this area?

Pithecus is Greek for "ape". Strictly speaking the gorilla (gorilla gorilla) ought to be gorilla gorilla pithecus.: it just got dropped for the sake of simplicity. Since the bonobo-like australopiths are more "advanced" than chimps, it is fair to say that the latter are also pithecines (apes). The Homo genus is used to distinguish humans from the apes.

I really don't care what the cladogram for mammals shows. These things are always changing anyway. I would like to know *why* exactly mammals are just evolved synapsids based on a cranial feature they share in common with the extinct reptiles. Penguins are obligate bipeds, does that mean they are closer to humans than the mouse?

Your evasion on the hyrax-elephant relationship is noted. The fossil record does not support this hypothesis and the genetic evidence is dubious...yet, both are placed within the same clade with a presumed common ancestor that lived 50 million years ago. I'd like to see what genetic variations turn a shrew into an elephant! Call it "personal incredulity" if you insist, but unless you demonstrate your claims I am going to laugh at them.

The "metric" for determining the artiodactyl classification is the presence of an even-toed hoof - that is all. Hippos, camels, giraffes, pigs, sheep, cows, deer...they are all grouped together on this very general basis. What is the "metric" for carnivora? Probably just the teeth and their meaty diet.

The swine possess rhodopsin and myoglobin genes which would place them alongside primates or equids and not with other artiodactyls. I suggest you reproduce the same test like the good little scientist you are. Of course, this could be because of convergent evolution but this only exposes the problem of evolutionism in general: too much is left open to interpretation and not enough to any measure of verification and falsification.

Dec 19, 2010


I am ending my discussion for the simple fact that the creationists is refusing to answer questions and unwilling to accept evidence presented to him. There really is no point in continuing with this creationist.
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Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:54 am
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IsotelusBloggerUser avatarPosts: 317Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

I am ending my discussion for the simple fact that the creationists is refusing to answer questions and unwilling to accept evidence presented to him. There really is no point in continuing with this creationist.


Good plan indeed. I just have to comment on some of his last points :lol: :

Anyway,you don't know more than I do about genetics...that is a blatantly false assertion...


I haven't seen any indication yet that he understands genetics.

Pithecus is Greek for "ape". Strictly speaking the gorilla (gorilla gorilla) ought to be gorilla gorilla pithecus.: it just got dropped for the sake of simplicity. Since the bonobo-like australopiths are more "advanced" than chimps, it is fair to say that the latter are also pithecines (apes). The Homo genus is used to distinguish humans from the apes.


I hope none of this makes it into his paper, especially words like 'advanced'.

I really don't care what the cladogram for mammals shows. These things are always changing anyway. I would like to know *why* exactly mammals are just evolved synapsids based on a cranial feature they share in common with the extinct reptiles.


Then he shouldn't be writing papers. As a scientist you follow the facts; not dismiss them as irrelevant because more accurate revisions are constantly being made. Perhaps if he had actually taken the time to review and understand mammalian cladograms, he wouldn't be asking such basic questions.

Penguins are obligate bipeds, does that mean they are closer to humans than the mouse?


The very silly question aside, and besides the fact that all birds are bipedal, I wouldn't consider penguins as obligate bipeds. They spend most of their time swimming and so primarily use their forelimbs. Furthermore, when penguins are forced to walk, the way in which they do so is not particularly efficient compared to say, ostriches, or even geese. When they can, they will slide on their bellies to minimize energy expenditure.

Your evasion on the hyrax-elephant relationship is noted. The fossil record does not support this hypothesis and the genetic evidence is dubious...yet, both are placed within the same clade with a presumed common ancestor that lived 50 million years ago. I'd like to see what genetic variations turn a shrew into an elephant! Call it "personal incredulity" if you insist, but unless you demonstrate your claims I am going to laugh at them.


I would actually be curious to hear more on that; I believe it is skull features and DNA that links hyrax and elephants? Could be wrong. Either way, comparing a hyrax to a shrew is ridiculous, but saying hyrax and elephants share a common ancestor and then asking how a small mammal could turn into an elephant is even more ridiculous (dare I mention that chihuahuas are derived from wolves?). He_who_is_nobody, you won this argument before it even began.

The "metric" for determining the artiodactyl classification is the presence of an even-toed hoof - that is all. Hippos, camels, giraffes, pigs, sheep, cows, deer...they are all grouped together on this very general basis. What is the "metric" for carnivora? Probably just the teeth and their meaty diet.


Why is he assuming that the only basis for these classifications are even-toed hooves? Now I'm assuming he's joking about the metric for carnivora, but in case he's not: :lol: He would have to consider the fact that certain species of baboons are quite predatory and actively hunt prey, as do blue monkeys. And what of chimpanzees hunting red colobus monkeys and bushbabies as a regular part of their diet? Would he seek to regroup tarsiers with carnivora for the reason that it has suitable dentition for feeding on insects and small vertebrates?

Okay, I'm done ranting. I know the discussion is over, but I couldn't resist putting my two cents in! ;)
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Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:33 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

Isotelus wrote:
I am ending my discussion for the simple fact that the creationists is refusing to answer questions and unwilling to accept evidence presented to him. There really is no point in continuing with this creationist.


Good plan indeed. I just have to comment on some of his last points :lol: :

(snipped for space)

Okay, I'm done ranting. I know the discussion is over, but I couldn't resist putting my two cents in! ;)



I am glad to get any feed back on this. That is the reason why I posted it here in the first place.

You asked about the hyrax/elephant relationship. First off, he is wrong about the hyrax being the closest living relative to the elephant; the closest are the Sirenia.

The early cladists used cranial-dental features to group hyraxes and elephants together. The amazing thing is how right they were using bone and teeth morphology. New studies using genetic evidence has conclusively shown that elephants and hyraxes create a monophyletic group along with Sirenia. I did not want to start discussing this with him because I had already let the discussion stray far from the original topic.
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Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:39 pm
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RemensumPosts: 4Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:39 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.


The early cladists used cranial-dental features to group hyraxes and elephants together. The amazing thing is how right they were using bone and teeth morphology. New studies using genetic evidence has conclusively shown that elephants and hyraxes create a monophyletic group along with Sirenia. I did not want to start discussing this with him because I had already let the discussion stray far from the original topic.


And so the adaptive story telling takes a new direction. One has to wonder how the hyrax, the sea cow and the elephant constitute a monphyletic group....but just look at the diversity within artiodactyls.

Anyway, the "creationist" begs to differ on evolutionism...

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 5/abstract

Enjoy.
Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:50 pm
Anachronous RexLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 2008Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:07 pmLocation: Kansas City, MO Gender: Male

Post Re: Discussion with a creationist about hominin fossils.

Remensum wrote:

The early cladists used cranial-dental features to group hyraxes and elephants together. The amazing thing is how right they were using bone and teeth morphology. New studies using genetic evidence has conclusively shown that elephants and hyraxes create a monophyletic group along with Sirenia. I did not want to start discussing this with him because I had already let the discussion stray far from the original topic.


And so the adaptive story telling takes a new direction. One has to wonder how the hyrax, the sea cow and the elephant constitute a monphyletic group....but just look at the diversity within artiodactyls.

Anyway, the "creationist" begs to differ on evolutionism...

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 5/abstract

Enjoy.

You realize that even if this is the case, all it means is that things like frame-shifts play a more important role then we had previously thought, right?

Also, define 'evolutionism'

And welcome to the forums.

EDIT: It seems that the paper you link to is neither peer reviewed. The author is apparently a British-Iranian living in Manchester, who was previously the director of a company dissolved for illegally shipping parts to Iran; he does not appear to have any scientific credentials.

Regardless how useful he might be to your argument, I wouldn't trust him. I certainly would never use someone like that as a source, no matter how convent their opinions.
Our prefrontal lobes are too small. Much too small. That's a problem of the birth canal, I'm very sorry to say for those that like their birth canals... tight.
-C. Hitchens.
Last edited by Anachronous Rex on Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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