Skip to comments.Fossils Bridge Gap in African Mammal Evolution
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.
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?
I see, smell and hear people in my dreams...Junior, are people in my dreams real?
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.
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.
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"
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.
Interesting. Now you claimed this is a "fact" so we eagerly await your supporting evidence...
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.
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.
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.
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.
Actually I am. (that too is not a fact, it is my belief)
Now realize that this is exactly what does not belong in science class.
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.
Fishing in your underwear does not belong in science class (unless it is somebody elses 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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
That's another post of yours bookmarked!
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.
And of course it's pretty obvious that it was created ;)
Who are you referring to?
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?
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.
Wisdom in a nutshell. Too bad "common sense" is so rare.
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.
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.
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