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Fossils Bridge Gap in African Mammal Evolution
Reuters to My Yahoo! ^ | Wed Dec 3, 2003 | Patricia Reaney

Posted on 12/03/2003 4:53:26 PM PST by Pharmboy

LONDON (Reuters) - Fossils discovered in Ethiopia's highlands are a missing piece in the puzzle of how African mammals evolved, a team of international scientists said on Wednesday.

Little is known about what happened to mammals between 24 million to 32 million years ago, when Africa and Arabia were still joined together in a single continent.

But the remains of ancestors of modern-day elephants and other animals, unearthed by the team of U.S. and Ethiopian scientists 27 million years on, provide some answers.

"We show that some of these very primitive forms continue to live through the missing years, and then during that period as well, some new forms evolved -- these would be the ancestors of modern elephants," said Dr John Kappelman, who headed the team.

The find included several types of proboscideans, distant relatives of elephants, and fossils from the arsinoithere, a rhinoceros-like creature that had two huge bony horns on its snout and was about 7 feet high at the shoulder.

"It continues to amaze me that we don't have more from this interval of time. We are talking about an enormous continent," said Kappelman, who is based at the University of Texas at Austin.

Scientists had thought arsinoithere had disappeared much earlier but the discovery showed it managed to survive through the missing years. The fossils from the new species found in Ethiopia are the largest, and at 27 million years old, the youngest discovered so far.

"If this animal was still alive today it would be the central attraction at the zoo," Tab Rasmussen, a paleontologist at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri who worked on the project, said in a statement.

Many of the major fossil finds in Ethiopia are from the Rift Valley. But Kappelman and colleagues in the United States and at Ethiopia's National Science Foundation (news - web sites) and Addis Ababa University concentrated on a different area in the northwestern part of the country.

Using high-resolution satellite images to scour a remote area where others had not looked before, his team found the remains in sedimentary rocks about 6,600 feet above sea level.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: africa; archaeology; crevolist; evolution; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; links; mammals; multiregionalism; neandertal
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To: whattajoke
"I didn't come from pond scum is more than just an opinion; you should give yourself more credit. It's a fact.

Whatajoke, if you think the nature of man's origin is based in fact...please enlighten us....WHAT do you think are the facts of our origin?

351 posted on 12/04/2003 3:40:17 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: Junior
So, if other observers do not exist (even though you can see, smell or hear them), everything is simply a figment of your imagination and the point is moot -- the universe is whatever YOU think it is (which has greater theological implications than the theory of evolution even approaches).

I see, smell and hear people in my dreams...Junior, are people in my dreams real?

352 posted on 12/04/2003 3:43:40 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: Last Visible Dog
Care to provide evidence to support this belief?


353 posted on 12/04/2003 3:49:31 PM PST by whattajoke (Neutiquam erro.)
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To: whattajoke; Last Visible Dog
whoops, that tiny dot is actually a link.
354 posted on 12/04/2003 3:50:26 PM PST by whattajoke (Neutiquam erro.)
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To: Last Visible Dog
WHAT do you think are the facts of our origin?

We came from the mind of an autistic boy with a snowglobe.
355 posted on 12/04/2003 3:52:31 PM PST by whattajoke (Neutiquam erro.)
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To: VadeRetro
All you ever do, you are doing here. No one is allowed to notice that creationists post non-factual, non-responsive arguments. You'll be there to scream "police brutality!" It's a farce.

VadeRetro - you just don't get it. Clearly you are in possession of the data and you are very good at arguing based on your data - but you sometimes seem a bit short on logic and reason - the ability to connect the dots.

VadeRetro, you defend your position admirably so why do you have to resort to stupid insults. "anti-thinking" and other nonsense like that has nothing to do with "science" - it your pointed-headed opinion, an insult. Stick to your data and cut the childish insults.

VadeRetro, you know far more about this subject than I do and I am in no way challenging your knowledge on the subject. I come to these debates to READ - to see how people defend their position - to get insight from people that know more about it than I do. The problem is there is a small group of arrogant evos that pop into this debate and insult the opposition turning these "debates" into little more than food fights.

Please keep your nasty opinions and insults to yourself and stick to the data. You do a fine job when you stick to logical debate, you look like a blow-hard when you spew insults. Hey, it is fine if that is the way you feel but it adds nothing to the debate. I am more impressed when you defeat a position rather than just insulting it.

356 posted on 12/04/2003 3:58:04 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: Dimensio
I could dig up his corpse, but I'd be arrested. Are you suggesting that the burden of proof is upon me to show that Darwin faked his death and that he's somehow still alive after over a century?

Actually I want you to support this claim you made "No one will be "meeting up" with him." Meaning you are certain there is no "afterlife". Please bring forth your evidence so we can put this age-old debate to rest.

357 posted on 12/04/2003 4:01:48 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: VadeRetro
Why? Did you see him with Elvis at a Burger King last week?

Don't be silly. Just last week Elvis told me he swore off fast food.

No Mr. Perceptive, I was questioning this statement "No one will be "meeting up" with him"

358 posted on 12/04/2003 4:04:47 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: whattajoke
How does your link prove nobody will be meeting up with Darwin (life after death)?
359 posted on 12/04/2003 4:07:01 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: Last Visible Dog
Please keep your nasty opinions and insults to yourself and stick to the data.

If you can find no other outlet for your authoritarian urges I suggest you police your fellow ignorami and leave the supporters of science to monitor their own behavior as needed.

360 posted on 12/04/2003 4:08:39 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: whattajoke
We came from the mind of an autistic boy with a snowglobe.

Interesting. Now you claimed this is a "fact" so we eagerly await your supporting evidence...

361 posted on 12/04/2003 4:09:39 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: Last Visible Dog
a) There is no afterlife
b) Darwin is in hell, and I'm not going there
c) Darwin is in heaven, and I'm not going there
d) Darwin is in heaven, but I don't have any reason to meet him.
e) Darwin is in heaven, I'd love to meet him, but he's too busy fending off those who are surprised to see him there.
f) Darwin is in Nirvana, and I'm not going there.
g) Darwin is reincarnated as a finch and may have pooped on my car.

dude, your eternal quest for supposed facts and logical arguments are interesting in light of this line of posts... My position is that there won't be anyone meeting anyone in any afterlife. I've seen no evidence from any field (physics, logic, biology, astronomy, theology) to convince me of an afterlife. That is my position.
362 posted on 12/04/2003 4:12:15 PM PST by whattajoke (Neutiquam erro.)
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To: Last Visible Dog
http://epguides.com/StElsewhere/season6.shtml#ep137
363 posted on 12/04/2003 4:14:39 PM PST by whattajoke (Neutiquam erro.)
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To: VadeRetro
If you can find no other outlet for your authoritarian urges I suggest you police your fellow ignorami and leave the supporters of science to monitor their own behavior as needed.

Funny, it is you and not me that is passing judgment on other people - I just asked you to stop the condescending insults. You do seem to be big on data (and arrogance and insults) and short on common sense and the ability to participate in a logical debate.

364 posted on 12/04/2003 4:14:53 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: null and void
If He was a designer working for me I'd fire Him!

I find this kind of attitude to be quite common in young and inexperience engineers. They always seem to know the best way to make a product (and, it goes without saying, that the best way is not the way the product was manufactured). I will give you the same response I offer them - I will take your criticism seriously after you prove that you are capable of making some thing better.
365 posted on 12/04/2003 4:15:09 PM PST by bluejay
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To: bluejay
I will take your criticism seriously after you prove that you are capable of making some thing better.

Like weevil resistant cotton?
366 posted on 12/04/2003 4:16:27 PM PST by whattajoke (Neutiquam erro.)
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To: whattajoke
dude, your eternal quest for supposed facts and logical arguments are interesting in light of this line of posts...

dude, I did not make any of those statements. You claim nobody will be meeting up with Darwin. Fine. Prove it or accept it is your belief and not fact.

BTW: I don't know if there is an afterlife and I don't know where Darwin will be if there is one AND unlike you I have not made any absolute statements that require supporting evidence.

367 posted on 12/04/2003 4:19:12 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: Last Visible Dog
You must be a ball of fun at parties.
368 posted on 12/04/2003 4:20:49 PM PST by whattajoke (Neutiquam erro.)
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To: Last Visible Dog
Funny, it is you and not me that is passing judgment on other people - I just asked you to stop the condescending insults. You do seem to be big on data (and arrogance and insults) and short on common sense and the ability to participate in a logical debate.

Your contribution seems limited to screaming blue murder when anyone notices that your favored side has offered only facts that aren't facts and logic that isn't logic. Your own participation has been a long, truculent bludgeoning with your refusal to absorb or acknowledge any points inconvenient to you. You're in no position to lecture.

369 posted on 12/04/2003 4:21:02 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: Last Visible Dog
Reality's just a figment of your imagination.
370 posted on 12/04/2003 4:22:51 PM PST by Junior ("Brillig and the Slithy Toves" would be a great name for a band.)
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To: whattajoke
My position is that there won't be anyone meeting anyone in any afterlife. I've seen no evidence from any field (physics, logic, biology, astronomy, theology) to convince me of an afterlife. That is my position.

Looking for evidence of the afterlife in this life is like fishing in your underwear...of course you will not find anything.

BTW: that is a fine position but it is a belief AND it is not a fact that nobody will be meeting up with Darwin, it is your belief.

371 posted on 12/04/2003 4:23:15 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: whattajoke
You must be a ball of fun at parties.

Actually I am. (that too is not a fact, it is my belief)

372 posted on 12/04/2003 4:25:16 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: Last Visible Dog
Actually I want you to support this claim you made "No one will be "meeting up" with him." Meaning you are certain there is no "afterlife". Please bring forth your evidence so we can put this age-old debate to rest.

Thus far, no one has presented evidence that the human consciousness survives brain death. The burden of proof is upon someone asserting as much to demonstrate that this is true. Until then, it's not unreasonable to assume that human consciousnes ends when the object that produces it -- the human brain -- no longer functions.
373 posted on 12/04/2003 4:25:50 PM PST by Dimensio (The only thing you feel when you take a human life is recoil. -- Frank "Earl" Jones)
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To: Last Visible Dog
Looking for evidence of the afterlife in this life is like fishing in your underwear...of course you will not find anything.

Now realize that this is exactly what does not belong in science class.

374 posted on 12/04/2003 4:25:57 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: Junior
Reality's just a figment of your imagination.

A rather profound statement. At the pedestrian level this statement seems laughable but when you approach it honestly and intellectually you will find it is very default to "prove" the nature of reality. That said - now what - we can just give up and take bong hits, eat gummy bears, watch TV, and have sex OR we can just understand there is very little certainty in the known universe (and then do the other stuff). The only real problem is it deflates intellectual arrogance.

375 posted on 12/04/2003 4:30:32 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: whattajoke
Like weevil resistant cotton?

Not sure what a weevil is - I assume it is some kind of parasite.

It is especially curious to criticize a product that is so incredibly easy to modify. Keep in mind it is a lot easier to make some thing that serves only a single purpose and is not modifiable then to create some thing that can be easily modified in the future. To me, the fact that transgenesis is possible (and so incredibly easy) is just another proof of Creator's greatness.

P.S. Oh, I see. Weevil is a kind of beetle.
376 posted on 12/04/2003 4:32:10 PM PST by bluejay
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To: VadeRetro
Now realize that this is exactly what does not belong in science class.

Fishing in your underwear does not belong in science class (unless it is somebody else’s underwear - preferably the opposite sex).

VadeRetro, man of science, I totally agree with you (after life study does not belong in science class – at least not the current level of science – you never know about the distant future)

377 posted on 12/04/2003 4:33:55 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: Dimensio
Thus far, no one has presented evidence that the human consciousness survives brain death.

But we all know absence of evidence is not proof of anything.

The burden of proof is upon someone asserting as much to demonstrate that this is true.

My point exactly. You asserted no one will be meeting up with Darwin (in the after life) so the burden of proof is on you.

Until then, it's not unreasonable to assume that human consciousnes ends when the object that produces it -- the human brain -- no longer functions.

And it is fallacious logic to claim the absence of life after death is a fact - it is merely your belief.

BTW: you position is impossible to prove because it is impossible to prove a negative.

378 posted on 12/04/2003 4:39:59 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: Last Visible Dog
But we all know absence of evidence is not proof of anything.

Right. I also have no evidence that invisible space pixies don't have a plan that will make me rich. However, because no evidence has surfaced that such things exist, I try not to waste my time worrying about them.

You asserted no one will be meeting up with Darwin (in the after life) so the burden of proof is on you.

Wrong, but this isn't surprising from you. The assertion was made that people will be meeting up with Darwin sometime in the future. I was stating the negation of that assertion, and I based that negation on several known facts.

And it is fallacious logic to claim the absence of life after death is a fact - it is merely your belief.

You're just trying to make an argument, asserting that any position -- no matter what it is -- is "faith-based" because it cannot be proven to 100% certainty. Your method of "reasoning" would have us assuming absolutely anything, because one person's assumption is no better than another. I don't think that you actually live your life that way, however, because I suspect that you only present this point of view in order to troll for replies.

Mind you, I can't prove that about you. It's just an observation based upon evidence. Don't assume that I'm stating it as a fact.
379 posted on 12/04/2003 4:48:30 PM PST by Dimensio (The only thing you feel when you take a human life is recoil. -- Frank "Earl" Jones)
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PatrickHenry remains aloof!
380 posted on 12/04/2003 4:49:12 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: VadeRetro
Let's mention some dates here, OK? Hesperopithecus, 1922. Piltdown Man, 1912. The average creationist quotation, probably 1971.

The last outright fraud or hoax I can think of relating in any way to evolutionary theory was that fossil bird that was composed from the body of one creature and the tail of another. (Both being valid fossils individually.) That was, what, five or six years ago? Even that wasn't a nefarious evilutionist plot, but just some Chinese fossil merchant trying to make a few extra bucks. I don't know of any frauds or hoaxes touching on human evolution other than Piltdown.

Funny thing is, compared to most other scientific fields, evolutionary biology seems to have an unusually low rate of fraud and deception, as illustrated by the ancient dates of the examples that anti-evolutionists are able to dig up.

But then maybe this is explicable. Whatever the perceived "glamor" of the field, there isn't really much money involved in evolutionary biology, and fraud is usually about money in the end. Far and away the greatest number of frauds occur in biomedical science, and this is also where the most money is.

381 posted on 12/04/2003 5:07:26 PM PST by Stultis
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To: Dimensio
Right. I also have no evidence that invisible space pixies don't have a plan that will make me rich. However, because no evidence has surfaced that such things exist, I try not to waste my time worrying about them.

Actually you ruined your example. The fact you are not rich is active proof against the "pixie theory". Now the Pot Head Pixies from the Planet Gong are a known fact (if you understand this reference than you too are a ball of fun at parties)

Wrong, but this isn't surprising from you. The assertion was made that people will be meeting up with Darwin sometime in the future. I was stating the negation of that assertion, and I based that negation on several known facts.

What "facts" are you basing your claim of no after life? (HINT: there are no "facts" on that subject"). If you would have asked those claiming that there is an afterlife for supporting evidence you would have retained the high ground but you got carried away and made an absolute statement that demands supporting evidence (your fingers were typing checks your science can't cash). Your statement requires evidence no matter what you were responding to (this is Aristotelian logic, I did not make it up).

You're just trying to make an argument, asserting that any position -- no matter what it is -- is "faith-based" because it cannot be proven to 100% certainty.

No. In the complete absence of supporting evidence - holding a position is merely a belief (I did not invent the rules of logic).

HINT: How can there be a way to prove or disprove the afterlife in this life. That is like claiming water is not wet by claiming the fact that you are not wet now proves water is not wet despite the fact you are currently not in the water.

Your method of "reasoning" would have us assuming absolutely anything, because one person's assumption is no better than another.

My method of reasoning is Aristotelian logic, if you don't like it - take it up with Aristote. In our existence we only have levels of certainty. Some positions have more certainty than other. There zero certainty that there is no life after death.

I don't think that you actually live your life that way, however, because I suspect that you only present this point of view in order to troll for replies.

If you don't live your life based on logic and reason you live your life based on delusion (be it science or religious). Science delusion is arrogance assumptions of unfounded certainty.

Opening your eyes is not always a pleasant experience.

382 posted on 12/04/2003 5:12:02 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: Last Visible Dog
Dude, since the only reality is in your mind, just will the world to work the way you want it.
383 posted on 12/04/2003 5:36:21 PM PST by Junior ("Brillig and the Slithy Toves" would be a great name for a band.)
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To: Stultis
I don't know of any frauds or hoaxes touching on human evolution other than Piltdown.

Piltdown man was most definitely not an evolutionist fraud. It was a phoney fossil that was seen almost immediately to be something that didn't beling in the human family tree. It's as if you were putting together your own genealogy, and someone slipped in some documents purporting to show that your great-great grandfather was a guy who lived and died on Borneo, and who never left that island. If nobody else in your family had ever been there, he would be a most unlikely ancestor. It would be a very strange and suspicious data point in your family tree.

Eventually, through solid research, you would discover your real ancestor; although you might never learn who had handed you the bogus information. This would not be evidence that you were claiming a false genealogy. Rather, you'd be a victim of someone who was trying to discredit you.

That's why I suspect that Piltdown man was a creationist fraud. The fossil never served any evolutionist purpose.

384 posted on 12/04/2003 5:43:03 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: Ichneumon
[329]

That's another post of yours bookmarked!

385 posted on 12/04/2003 5:43:06 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: Stultis
The last outright fraud or hoax I can think of relating in any way to evolutionary theory was that fossil bird that was composed from the body of one creature and the tail of another. (Both being valid fossils individually.)

That was Archaeoraptor, announced October 99 and debunked in January 00. Yeah. I'm so old I remember the thread we did on it at the time.

386 posted on 12/04/2003 5:51:21 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: PatrickHenry
That's why I suspect that Piltdown man was a creationist fraud.

And of course it's pretty obvious that it was created ;)

387 posted on 12/04/2003 5:54:30 PM PST by BMCDA
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To: bluejay
Those guys are fun!

Who are you referring to?

388 posted on 12/04/2003 6:06:37 PM PST by js1138
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To: Last Visible Dog
Please bring forth your evidence so we can put this age-old debate to rest.

I should be careful with this question because I don't know the answer. Can you cite chapter and verse that says we will meet specific, recognizable public figures in the afterlife and converse with them?

389 posted on 12/04/2003 6:20:43 PM PST by js1138
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To: js1138
Who are you referring to?

Didn't you suggest I should talk to some evolution proponents?
390 posted on 12/04/2003 6:22:07 PM PST by bluejay
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To: bluejay
I find this kind of attitude to be quite common in young and inexperience engineers. They always seem to know the best way to make a product ...

No engineer knows the best way to make a product. Never has. Never will. There is no best way.

When better ways are found they open paths to even better ways.

It is possible, however, for even a high school dropout to recognise crap.

391 posted on 12/04/2003 6:25:04 PM PST by js1138
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To: js1138
No engineer knows the best way to make a product. Never has. Never will. There is no best way.

Every engineer is absolutely certain he knows the best way to build a product.
392 posted on 12/04/2003 6:32:00 PM PST by bluejay
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To: Last Visible Dog
The fact you are not rich is active proof against the "pixie theory".

No it isn't. I'm just not doing what the magic pixies want me to do, that's why I'm not rich yet.

What "facts" are you basing your claim of no after life?

The "fact" that thus far there is considerable physical evidence that human consciousness is a result of the chemical reactions in the brain and thus far there is no evidence that human conscious is anything other than a result of the chemical reactions in the human brain.
393 posted on 12/04/2003 6:32:52 PM PST by Dimensio (The only thing you feel when you take a human life is recoil. -- Frank "Earl" Jones)
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To: js1138
It is possible, however, for even a high school dropout to recognise crap.

Wisdom in a nutshell. Too bad "common sense" is so rare.

394 posted on 12/04/2003 6:32:54 PM PST by balrog666 (Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.)
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To: bluejay
Every engineer is absolutely certain he knows the best way to build a product.

I don't know the best way to build a bridge, but that doesn't mean that I couldn't spot a poorly-built bridge.
395 posted on 12/04/2003 6:33:46 PM PST by Dimensio (The only thing you feel when you take a human life is recoil. -- Frank "Earl" Jones)
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To: bluejay
Didn't you suggest I should talk to some evolution proponents?

I don't know any who post on these threads who have expressed any interest in how homosexuality evolved. But you successfully diverted the discussion away from my original question.

396 posted on 12/04/2003 6:33:48 PM PST by js1138
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To: bluejay
Every engineer is absolutely certain he knows the best way to build a product.

Remind not to hire any engineers that ever worked for you.

397 posted on 12/04/2003 6:35:20 PM PST by balrog666 (Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.)
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To: balrog666
Remind not to hire any engineers that ever worked for you.

Well the Intelligent Designer (as presented on these threads) is certainly full of himself. Either that or the presenters are full of themselves.

398 posted on 12/04/2003 6:45:09 PM PST by js1138
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To: js1138
... But you successfully diverted the discussion away from my original question.

The post to which I replied was:

I agree. Now find someone among the evolution proponents on this thread who disagree with that statement.

I did not realize it contained a question.
399 posted on 12/04/2003 6:48:10 PM PST by bluejay
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To: balrog666
Remind not to hire any engineers that ever worked for you.

OK. Consider yourself reminded.
400 posted on 12/04/2003 6:49:31 PM PST by bluejay
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