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New Fossil Links Four-legged Land Animals To Ancient Fish
National Science Foundation ^ | 01 April 2004 | Staff

Posted on 04/02/2004 4:25:18 PM PST by PatrickHenry

Arlington, Va.—How land-living animals evolved from fish has long been a scientific puzzle. A key missing piece has been knowledge of how the fins of fish transformed into the arms and legs of our ancestors. In this week's issue of the journal Science, paleontologists Neil Shubin and Michael Coates from the University of Chicago and Ted Daeschler from the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, describe a remarkable fossil that bridges the gap between fish and amphibian and provides a glimpse of the structure and function changes from fin to limb.

The fossil, a 365-million-year-old arm bone, or humerus, shares features with primitive fish fins but also has characteristics of a true limb bone. Discovered near a highway roadside in north-central Penn., the bone is the earliest of its kind from any limbed animal.

"It has long been understood that the first four-legged creatures on land arose from the lobed-finned fishes in the Devonian Period," said Rich Lane, director of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) geology and paleontology program. "Through this work, we've learned that fish developed the ability to prop their bodies through modification of their fins, leading to the emergence of tetrapod limbs."

NSF, the independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, funded the research.

The bone's structure reveals an animal that had powerful forelimbs, with extensive areas for the attachment of muscles at the shoulder. "The size and extent of these muscles means that the humerus played a significant role in the support and movement of the animal," reported Shubin. "These muscles would have been important in propping the body up and pushing it off of the ground."

Interestingly, modern-day fish have smaller versions of the muscles. According to Coates, "When this humerus is compared to those of closely-related fish, it becomes clear that the ability to prop the body is more ancient than we previously thought. This means that many of the features we thought evolved to allow for life on land originally evolved in fish living in aquatic ecosystems."

The layered rock along the Clinton County, Penn., roadside were deposited by ancient stream systems that flowed during the Devonian Period, about 365 million years ago. Enclosed in the rocks is fossil evidence of an ecosystem teeming with plant and animal life. "We found a number of interesting fossils at the site," reported Daeschler, who uncovered the fossil in 1993. "But the significance of this specimen went unnoticed for several years because only a small portion of the bone was exposed and most of it lay encased in a brick-sized piece of red sandstone."

Not until three years ago, when Fred Mullison, the fossil preparator at the Academy of Natural Sciences, excavated the bone from the rock, did the importance of the new specimen become evident.

The work was also funded by a grant from the National Geographic Society.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: biology; creationism; crevolist; darwin; evolution; godsgravesglyphs; michaelcoates; neilshubin; paleontology; teddaeschler
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To: Light Speed
I want my own eviiiiiil monkey!



101 posted on 04/02/2004 7:29:31 PM PST by balrog666 (A public service post.)
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To: Ichneumon
Gaps between... what?

Another classic! You are definitely on a roll here!

But I'm bailing for a little snapper almondine.

102 posted on 04/02/2004 7:32:17 PM PST by balrog666 (A public service post.)
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To: balrog666; Ichneumon; edsheppa
Ed's on our side. I think a </sarcasm> was implied.
103 posted on 04/02/2004 7:37:07 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: balrog666
LOL!!

Have you seen this Simpson episode where Homer gets a seeing eye help monkey?

I pulled stomach muscles!!


Marge is upset and calls the monkey a filthy animal...as she pours a glass of juice.
Homer answers by saying ...."That Filthy monkey just made the Orange Juice your drinking"!!

The Monkey and Homer pig out..drink way too much beer.
The Monkey is lying on the floor in a diaper surrounded by beer cans.

Marge see's and starts to complain.
Homer says....."Leave him alone Marge..can't you see his cholesterol is over the top"!


Homer yeilds to Marges complaints..and drops the monkey back where he got him...
the owner comes out..the monkey keys in the computer..."Pray for Mojo"!

104 posted on 04/02/2004 7:43:24 PM PST by Light Speed
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To: balrog666; Ichneumon; VadeRetro
Just a little programming humor.
105 posted on 04/02/2004 8:01:21 PM PST by edsheppa
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To: VadeRetro
WHAT other evidence?

29+ Evidences for Macroevolution.

That's all you've got?

The problem is that I could go to any academic library in America to the math section and however many books they have on probability and statistics, that's how much evidence I'd have AGAINST evolution. Every one of those books is a blanket refutation of evolution, from alpha to omega, from the front cover to the back cover. Page after page after page after page after......

106 posted on 04/02/2004 8:06:01 PM PST by greenwolf
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To: PatrickHenry
Darwin Central is Never Satisfied placemarker
107 posted on 04/02/2004 8:09:39 PM PST by longshadow
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To: PatrickHenry
Thanks for the ping!
108 posted on 04/02/2004 8:34:04 PM PST by Alamo-Girl (Glad to be a monthly contributor to Free Republic!)
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To: VadeRetro; edsheppa; balrog666
Ed's on our side. I think a </sarcasm> was implied.

I know, I'm just building on his foundation. :-)

109 posted on 04/02/2004 9:16:35 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: greenwolf; Long Cut; keithtoo; seastay; gg188; Inyo-Mono; Freesofar; Licensed-To-Carry; ...
WHAT other evidence?

Start here: 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution: The Scientific Case for Common Descent.

Follow a number of the more promising links from those pages, as well.

Then move on to: Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ.

Then: Horse Evolution.

Then you may be ready for the *excellent* and detailed 43-page overview of: What does the mouse genome draft tell us about evolution?

Then in whatever order you think best for your own education:

Introduction to Evolutionary Biology

Evolution is a Fact and a Theory

Observed Instances of Speciation

Plagiarized Errors and Molecular Genetics

Fossil Hominids: The Evidence for Human Evolution

Archaeopteryx

The Age of the Earth: How do we know it?

The Evolution Evidence Page

Constructing primate phylogenies from ancient retrovirus sequences

Evidence Supporting Biological Evolution

Human Chromosome 2 is a fusion of two ancestral chromosomes

Alec's Evolution Pages with scientific evidence for evolution

A very early chordate fossil

Eomaia scansoria: discovery of oldest known placental mammal

Discovery of a Transitional in Romer's Gap

The Fossil Record: Evolution or "Scientific Creation"

THE THERAPSID--MAMMAL TRANSITIONAL SERIES

AMBULOCETUS AS A FOSSIL TRANSITIONAL

CETACEAN EVOLUTION (WHALES, DOLPHINS, PORPOISES): EVIDENCE OF COMMON ANCESTRY OF CETACEANS AND CERTAIN SPECIES OF LAND MAMMALS (Excellent article -- written by a former young-earth creationist!)

The Shape of Life

Ring Species and Clinal Variation: Nature's Way of Making New Species

Transitional Human Fossils: Six Million Years of Human Ancestry

The Evolution of Improved Fitness By Random Mutation Plus Selection

Evidence for Evolution: An Eclectic Survey

The Evolution of Color Vision

The Origin of Whales and the Power of Independent Evidence

Evolution: Converging Lines of Evidence

Evolution Library: Evidence for Evolution

That's just a *small* taste. And note that these are just essays *about* the evidence, not the vastly larger, more detailed mountains of *primary* literature (i.e. papers of scientific studies, experiments, vast catalogs of fossil specimens, gigabytes of DNA sequences, etc. etc. etc.)

And here's a small sampling of my own modest posts on the subject:

Explanation of why shared endogenous retroviruses are extremely strong evidence for common descent

Specific comparison of a gene as found in humans, chimps, gorillas, and orangutans

Explanation of nested hierarchies, and how individuals in evolving species still manage to mate with their cohorts

My analysis of specific basepair mutations in a small stretch of the "Vitamin C" gene, and its implications for evolution

Discussion of the evolution of the Krebs metabolic cycle

Support for the assertion that biologists overwhelmingly accept evolution

Information on the biochemical evolution of the blood-clotting mechanism

Evolution of the woodpecker's tongue, and the mammalian eye

A detailed list of 50+ transitional fossils marking the evolutionary path between fish and elephants

Corrections to a (plagiarized!) scattershot creationist attack on the Urey-Miller experiment, and a digression into right-handed proteins

Another response to yet another (also plagiarized) "refutation" of the Urey-Miller experiment, and reference to more modern abiogenesis research

Rebuttal to misstatements about SJ Gould, and fossils answering several creationist challenges

Eighteen references in answer to the creationist claim that "Gene duplication has never been observed"

Refutation of a creationist's claim that "Gould and Eldredge completely rejected Darwinian evolution", and a clarification of the reasons for the sparsity of the fossil record

Punctuated equilibrim is not a departure from Darwin's original theory

Two papers on assembly of proteins by means of non-protein means

Response to Behe's "Irreducible Complexity", and the Contingency argument

Mathematical analysis of a case where simple evolutionary principles provide a speedup over random chance by a factor of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Musings on creationist probability calculations, and references to abiogenesis papers

Exposition on the Dodo (and its evolutionary history)

Discussion of Archaeopteryx, and why it's not "just a bird" or "just a reptile". Also, details on the fraudulent 'Archaeoraptor' fossil

Overview of a paper on the evolution of army ants

How humans and chimps ended up having different number of chromosomes, and how this supports our common ancestry

An examination of DNA showing that yes, contrary to creationist claims, humans really are genetically closer to chimps than nematodes

Thought experiment raising questions about why God only seems to "design" things such that they appear to have come about by evolution, instead of the myriad other ways he could have done so

On the Cambrian fauna and the rise of phyla

More on the above topic

A ton of links to papers on genetic algorithms

Cladograms of dino-to-bird evolution

Details of Dawkins' "methinks it is like a weasel" evolutionary program

The original fish-to-elephant post, plus dino-to-bird details

Happy reading. Let me know when you've finished all those, and I'll provide you with more.
110 posted on 04/02/2004 9:27:21 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: greenwolf
That's all you've got?

Complete this sentence: "There are none so blind..."

The problem is that I could go to any academic library in America to the math section and however many books they have on probability and statistics, that's how much evidence I'd have AGAINST evolution. Every one of those books is a blanket refutation of evolution, from alpha to omega, from the front cover to the back cover. Page after page after page after page after......

I've read a great number of those books (far more than you have, I'll wager), and I didn't find anything in them that could reasonably be considered "a blanket refutation of evolution".

On the contrary, the mathematics of evolution works out very nicely whenever it's examined.

So rather than blustering, "the evidence against evolution is, um, over there in that big library somewhere, really!", why don't you actually present a piece of this "blanket refutation" you allege exists in those math books, so that at the very least we can determine whether you, with all due repect, have the slightest clue what you're talking about.

I await your mathematical disproof of evolution. Be sure to show your work, using additional pieces of paper if necessary. (Fair warning: I've read and analyzed all the usual creationist "mathematical disproofs" of evolution, and you're going to get shredded if you try to cut-and-paste one of them, because they're all deeply flawed and monumentally ignorant of the topic they're attempting to analyze).

Your move.

111 posted on 04/02/2004 9:35:33 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
On the contrary, the mathematics of evolution works out very nicely whenever it's examined.

Apparently, there have been a number of symposia at which some of the world's formost mathematicians tried to explain things to evolutionists, and the evolutionists are still in states of shock and denial.

112 posted on 04/02/2004 10:25:05 PM PST by greenwolf
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To: Lurking Libertarian
The issue is not that an extra joint in the bone of a fish is actual evidence that it had a desire to crawl onto land ....
But rather that a paradigm of thought desires to extract tidbits of evidence to refute the existance of God.
Once a person examines the facts objectively and not extrapolating out to a vague extreme, then real science may have a chance to find answers.
How does the theorist not know that it is not a mutation ?
After all the species became extinct. There are many hazards to life even in the more stable present era. Radiation, harmful gasses from volcanic activity , for instance cyanide.
So lets just cut the bull and get right to the point.
Random chaos or God ?
I choose God.
you choose random chaos.
Debate over , you lose.
113 posted on 04/02/2004 10:59:11 PM PST by Freesofar
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To: Ichneumon
WoW thers enough info there to fill a HUGE dumpster, should we call the shredder ? maybe we can recycle it ?
114 posted on 04/02/2004 11:09:24 PM PST by Freesofar
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To: Ichneumon
Proof (which you will choose to ignore of course)

1. To make a mathematical formula of any kind takes intelligence. Show me a pattern in nature that is not complex ( fractals, DNA )
2. The simplest way to demonstrate statistical probability is to flip a coin. Heads or Tails ?
only problem is it takes someone to flip the coin.
3. First Law of Physics.
Debate over , you lose
115 posted on 04/02/2004 11:18:30 PM PST by Freesofar
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To: Ichneumon
I await your mathematical disproof of evolution. Be sure to show your work, using additional pieces of paper if necessary. (Fair warning: I've read and analyzed all the usual creationist "mathematical disproofs" of evolution, and you're going to get shredded if you try to cut-and-paste one of them, because they're all deeply flawed and monumentally ignorant of the topic they're attempting to analyze).

#3 first Law of Physics

1st Law of debating: never answer a question that is designed to refract the point.
Mathematics cannot prove or disprove creation.
Only faith can do that.
I have never been to Japan but I have faith it is there.
I have never seen an electron but I have faith an electron will deliver this message to your brain.
116 posted on 04/02/2004 11:28:43 PM PST by Freesofar
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To: Freesofar
What is this "first Law of Physics"?

117 posted on 04/02/2004 11:34:11 PM PST by jennyp (http://crevo.bestmessageboard.com)
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To: Freesofar
1st Law of debating: never answer a question that is designed to refract the point.

Such as for example:
So lets just cut the bull and get right to the point.
Random chaos or God ?
I choose God.
you choose random chaos.
Debate over , you lose.

118 posted on 04/02/2004 11:39:30 PM PST by Oztrich Boy ("It is always tempting to impute unlikely virtues to the cute" - Reinstated Tagline)
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To: Freesofar
1. To make a mathematical formula of any kind takes intelligence. Show me a pattern in nature that is not complex ( fractals, DNA )

Drop a pile of rocks on the ground. I'll bet you the mathematical formula that's required to describe the positions of the rocks will not be simple. (They won't line up in a nice neat row, evenly spaced, which would make for a simple equation.) Are there angels whose job it is to make sure they don't line up exactly?

OTOH, if you bring simple organic molecules together in certain ways and expose them to a hot bath rich in minerals such as iron sulfides & inorganic clays, more complex molecules form, and even link up into chains. Pretty cool, if you ask me!

2. The simplest way to demonstrate statistical probability is to flip a coin. Heads or Tails ? only problem is it takes someone to flip the coin.

Unless an earthquake shakes the table & the coin drops to the ground. So?

Look - utterly complex weather systems get created every day on Earth. They're so complex, it takes supercomputers to describe them! So are there angels whose job... ?

119 posted on 04/02/2004 11:42:42 PM PST by jennyp (http://crevo.bestmessageboard.com)
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To: Right Wing Professor
What's a gap? You could drive a battleship through the holes in evolutions missing links.
120 posted on 04/02/2004 11:43:40 PM PST by fish hawk
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To: jennyp
"What is this "first law of physics" ?"

"An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force."

Something has to make "something " happen. From nothing, nothing comes.
121 posted on 04/02/2004 11:50:07 PM PST by Freesofar
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To: Lurking Libertarian
You're right, evolution teaches NOTHING, it guesses. You can tell that from the proof they have.(none)
122 posted on 04/02/2004 11:50:58 PM PST by fish hawk
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To: jennyp
Like I said.
the choice is yours.
Random occurrance or intelligent design.
Take the evidence and decide.
Does your bathroom clean itself up. Did a tree come from a tiny seed and grow into a giant Sequoia from the code in a molecule at random ? Like a coin falling from a table ?
How does the evidence suggest random ?
Maybe the coin fell over and replaced itself three million times and somehow got up went and mixed the nucleic acids into a complex code.
123 posted on 04/02/2004 11:58:32 PM PST by Freesofar
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To: jennyp
As for the weather patterns , supercomputers describe them, they could not even begin to create them
124 posted on 04/03/2004 12:01:40 AM PST by Freesofar
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To: fish hawk
You're right, evolution teaches NOTHING, it guesses.

Evolution is a theory. It does not 'guess', it is a collection of observations and conclusions that have been confirmed via testing and thus far never falsified.

Ranting and raving against evolution, which you are doing here, does not make you look more credible.

You can tell that from the proof they have.(none)

No theory in science is ever proven. Gravitational theory has no "proof", it only has supporting evidence. Electromagnetic theory has no "proof", it only has supporting evidence. Evolution theory has no "proof", it only has supporting evidence.
125 posted on 04/03/2004 12:09:59 AM PST by Dimensio (I gave you LIFE! I -- AAAAAAAAH!)
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To: Freesofar
As for the weather patterns , supercomputers describe them, they could not even begin to create them

So are you saying that an intelligent force is constantly at work, shaping weather patterns?
126 posted on 04/03/2004 12:10:37 AM PST by Dimensio (I gave you LIFE! I -- AAAAAAAAH!)
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To: Freesofar
Debate over , you lose.

This is an interesting debtate tactic. Declare victory outright, without stating any facts or refuting your opponent's points.

Not a particularly honest tactic, but at least it does not require someone of great intelligence to see the intellectual bankruptcy of your "debate" technique.
127 posted on 04/03/2004 12:12:55 AM PST by Dimensio (I gave you LIFE! I -- AAAAAAAAH!)
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To: Dimensio
gee I didn't know I was ranting and raving. Thank you for filling me in. Now when I read stupid theories etc. I will try to be calm and just think what I think.Like how can a mature human not believe in Biblical things yet believe all the trash about evolution. In both cases it is "faith",no?
128 posted on 04/03/2004 12:20:41 AM PST by fish hawk
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To: fish hawk
I didn't know I was ranting and raving. Thank you for filling me in.

You're welcome.

Now when I read stupid theories etc.

Ranting again.

Asserting that the theory is "stupid" doesn't make you look intelligent. It makes you look like you don't have a real argument.

If you think that the theory is flawed, state what you think is flawed. Calling it "stupid" without any further elaboration does not make the theory look weaker, it makes you look weaker.

will try to be calm and just think what I think.

You do that. Just don't expect us to believe that you've thorougly debunked 150 years of scientific research just because you say that it is "stupid".

Like how can a mature human not believe in Biblical things yet believe all the trash about evolution.

Why is evolution trash? Be specific.

In both cases it is "faith",no?

No. Evolution is backed by quite a bit of physical evidence. Biblical things -- specifically the supernatural elements -- are not supported through physical evidence and, unlike evolution, cannot be subjected to tests and have no stated falsification criteria.
129 posted on 04/03/2004 12:30:47 AM PST by Dimensio (I gave you LIFE! I -- AAAAAAAAH!)
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happy to have missed most of this placemarker.
130 posted on 04/03/2004 3:48:03 AM PST by js1138 (In a minute there is time, for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. J Forbes Kerry)
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To: greenwolf
Apparently, there have been a number of symposia at which some of the world's formost mathematicians tried to explain things to evolutionists, and the evolutionists are still in states of shock and denial.

Apparently, you failed to heed my advice about how it would be a mistake to answer my request by repeating old creationist canards. Sigh.

Okay, you asked for it...

My request to you was:

why don't you actually present a piece of this "blanket refutation" you allege exists in those math books, so that at the very least we can determine whether you, with all due respect, have the slightest clue what you're talking about. I await your mathematical disproof of evolution.
Rather than actually present something in your own words, you chose to link to one of the many sites wherein creationism borders on becoming a parody of itself. Most of it consisted of empty chest-beating about how they have "destroyed" evolution (back in 1966! -- odd then that it's still going strong) using alleged arguments that the piece for the most part "forgets" to describe, instead relying on the usual tactic of "quote-mining" to try to convince the reader that, "these folks don't believe evolution, and so you shouldn't either!" Never mind that evidence and logical argument stuff, that's too tedious, don't'cha know...

The few times it *does* give a little sketchy info on the nature of the "disproofs" of evolution, unfortunately, it's laughably childish and just plain wrong.

So without further ado, let's shred some creationist canards about "mathematical disproofs" of evolution from that "WISTAR DESTROYS EVOLUTION" page that greenwolf linked, shall we?

1. "Dr. Martin Kaplan then set to work to lay plans for the 1966 Wistar Institute. It was the development of tremendously powerful digital computers that sparked the controversy. At last mathematicians were able to work out the probability of evolution ever having occurred. They discovered that, mathematically, life would neither have begun nor evolved by random action."

This one just kills me, the claim that "at last" mathematicians were "able to work out the probability" of evolution, because of "tremendously powerful digital computers" -- IN 1966! This is real knee-slapping stuff. In 1966 the most "tremendously powerful digital computer" would huff and puff doing routine payroll calculations. Even when I first started programming in 1974, the mainframe computers were real clunkers. And in any year a mathematician with a slide rule would have been able to do any calculation necessary to do probability calculations, no need to wait for the "tremendously powerful" (ROFL) computers of 1966. This is the sort of rhetorical (but nonsensical) puffery that is all too common in creationist screeds -- they're short on evidence, so they pad the piece with dramatic pronouncements, no matter how silly.

2. "For four days the Wistar convention continued, during which a key lecture was delivered by *M.P. Schutzenberger, a computer scientist, who explained that computers are large enough now [1966! - Ich.] to totally work out the mathematical probabilities of evolutionary theory—and they demonstrate that it is really fiction."

First, this is just a lie -- that's not what Schutzenberger's lecture claimed. The creationists who wrote that webpage have *drastically* overstated Schutzenberger's actual arguments. He made no claims of being able to "totally work out" mathematical probabilities of evolution, nor did he claim that "it is really fiction". Typical creationist tactic -- putting their own words into some authority's mouth.

Second, while Schutzenberger did some admirable pioneering work on this topic (and in 1966, that's about all that could be done with the computers available at the time and the early state of the field), he was clearly flat wrong on a number of basic points. For example, he said, "In fact if we try to simulate such a situation by making changes randomly at the typographic level (by letters or by blocks, the size of the unit does not really matter), on computer programs we find that we have no chance (i.e. less than 1/10^1000) even to see what the modified program would compute: it just jams." This is, in a word, ridiculous. Even in a highly structured language like C++ (a much more rigid domain than the plasticity of the genome), the number of possible character changes in a program which would *not* cause it to "jam" is more on the order of one in a thousand. I'd like to know what bodily orifice Schutzenberger pulled his bogus "1/10^1000" figure -- that's such an infinitismal figure that if it were true, programmers would be overjoyed. It would mean that typos while programming could not possibly introduce subtle bugs into a program, because the program would inevitably "jam" instead and alert them to the problem immediately!

Furthermore, there are plenty of genetic programming techniques which harness and produce productive results from the exact kind of "program evolution" that Schutzenberger declares impossible -- Avida, for one example. Score: Evolutionists 1, Schutzenberger 0.

3. "Murray Eden showed that it would be impossible for even a single ordered pair of genes to be produced by DNA mutations in the bacteria, E. coli,—with 5 billion years in which to produce it! His estimate was based on 5 trillion tons of the bacteria covering the planet to a depth of nearly an inch during that 5 billion years. He then explained that the genes of E. coli contain over a trillion (10^12) bits of data. That is the number 10 followed by 12 zeros."

Clearly, Murray Eden, who is described in creationist literature as a "Professor of Engineering", should keep his day job and not strive for a career in biology -- the genes of E. coli do not contain "over a trillion bits of data". The E. coli genome in fact contains only 4.60 million basepairs (9.2 million bits) of data. Eden has overstated the size of the genome by a mere 10,869,500% -- close enough for creationist work, I guess.

Need I point out that Eden is, not surprisingly, a creationist?

The author even screws up something as elementary as scientific notation. He says that the number 10^12 is "10 followed by 12 zeros". No, nice try. It's "10 followed by 11 zeros", or "1 followed by 12 zeros", take your pick.

If the creationists can't even get the easy stuff right (and any moderately bright high school student would have spotted the two errors listed above), can we trust them with the tougher stuff?

4. "Eden then showed the mathematical impossibility of protein forming by chance."

Fascinating, but since evolution doesn't claim or require that proteins "form by chance", that's rather a non sequitur, now, isn't it?

5. "He also reported on his extensive investigations into genetic data on hemoglobin (red blood cells). Hemoglobin has two chains, called alpha and beta. A minimum of 120 mutations would be required to convert alpha to beta. At least 34 of those changes require changeovers in 2 or 3 nucleotides. Yet, *Eden pointed out that, if a single nucleotide change occurs through mutation, the result ruins the blood and kills the organism!"

Again, Eden had better not quit his day job. Contrary to Eden's claim that a single mutation would "ruin the blood and kill the organism", in fact many mutational variations occur in the human population with no harmful effects at all -- see for example: DNA sequence variants in the G gamma-, A gamma-, delta- and beta-globin genes of man.

As for the claim that Eden allegedly announced the exact number of mutations it would require "to convert alpha to beta" at the 1966 meeting, I call bulls**t: DNA sequencing only became possible over a decade later, thanks to the invention of workable sequencing method by Frederick Sanger, which won him the Nobel Prize (his second!) in 1980.

6. "George Wald stood up and explained that he had done extensive research on hemoglobin also,—and discovered that if just ONE mutational change of any kind was made in it, the hemoglobin would not function properly. For example, the change of one amino acid out of 287 in hemoglobin causes sickle-cell anemia. "

Yes, a *specific* mutation in hemoglobin produces sickle-cell anemia, but that's hardly the same as proving that "one mutational change of any kind" would cause hemoglobin to "not function properly". Again, no techniques for actually exploring "mutational changes of any kind" even existed back in 1966. And as the above link shows, harmless mutations to hemoglobin have been found and cataloged, so any claim that mutational change "of any kind" would inevitably cause the hemoglobin to "not function properly" are quite obviously dead wrong.

And it's highly suspicious that the creationist website "summarizes" Wald's presentation instead of quoting him (even aside from the fact that they're putting claims into his mouth that would have been impossible for anyone to have made in 1966). Methinks the creationist is misrepresenting whatever Wald actually said in a creationist spin-cycle, then trying to lend it an air of authority by implying that Wald actually said it.

The website tries to imply that Wald is one of the "honest scientists" who has "rejected evolution" (so you should too!!!). But let's look at some of Wald's actual quotes, shall we?

[On evolution:] "We are the products of editing, rather than of authorship." -- George Wald (b. 1906), U.S. biochemist. “The Origin of Optical Activity,” vol. 69, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (1957). By "editing" Wald was referring to natural selection.

"It would be a poor thing to be an atom in a universe without physicists, and physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an atom’s way of knowing about atoms." -- George Wald (b. 1906), U.S. biochemist. L.J. Henderson, The Fitness of the Environment, foreword (1959).

"For not all living creatures die. An amoeba, for example, need never die; it need not even, like certain generals, fade away. It just divides and becomes two new amoebas. In fact, death seems to have been a rather late invention in evolution. One can go a long way in evolution before encountering an authentic corpse. This is the journey that I would like to make with you. What I should like to do, of course, is to begin with the first living organism on this planet and then pursue evolution onward, asking the question: When did the first organism appear that cultivated the habit of dying? [huge snip] You see, every creature alive on the earth today represents an unbroken line of life that stretches back to the first primitive organism to appear on this planet; and that is about three billion years. That really is immortality. For if that line of life had ever broken, how could we be here? All that time, our germ plasm has been living the life of those singlecelled creatures, the protozoa, reproducing by simple division, and occasionally going through the process of syngamy -- the fusion of two cells to form one—in the act of sexual reproduction. All that time, that germ plasm has been making bodies and casting them off in the act of dying. If the germ plasm wants to swim in the ocean, it makes itself a fish; if the germ plasm wants to fly in the air, it makes itself a bird. If it wants to go to Harvard, it makes itself a man. The strangest thing of all is that the germ plasm that we carry around within us has done all those things." -- George Wald, "The Origin of Death", 1970

"Recombinant DNA technology [genetic engineering] faces our society with problems unprecedented not only the history of science, but of life on the Earth. It places in human hands the capacity to redesign living organisms, the products of some three billion years of evolution. [...] Up to now living organisms have evolved very slowly, and new forms have had plenty of time to settle in. Now whole proteins will be transposed overnight into wholly new associations, with consequences no one can foretell, either for the host organism or their neighbors." -- George Wald. "The Case Against Genetic Engineering." The Recombinant DNA Debate. Jackson and Stich, eds. p. 127, 128.

It's gross dishonesty of the worst sort for that creationist website to try to twist George Wald's work and try to present him as an opponent of evolution.

And that's the totality of the "mathematical arguments" contained in that linked web page. They're full of errors, misreprensentations, dishonesties, and logical flaws.

I asked you to present us with one of your alleged mathmematical arguments against evolution so that we could "determine whether you, with all due respect, have the slightest clue what you're talking about".

And now we have our answer.

Feel free to try again, if you think you can do better with your next attempt.

131 posted on 04/03/2004 3:55:37 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Freesofar
The issue is not that an extra joint in the bone of a fish is actual evidence that it had a desire to crawl onto land ....

Correct, because evolution is not about "desires".

But rather that a paradigm of thought desires to extract tidbits of evidence to refute the existance of God.

Wrong. And how does your tidy little misconception deal with the existence of all those countless Christian evolutionists?

Once a person examines the facts objectively and not extrapolating out to a vague extreme, then real science may have a chance to find answers.

That's exactly how science has arrived at evolution. Thanks for your support.

How does the theorist not know that it is not a mutation ? After all the species became extinct.

Could we have that again in the form of a coherent thought?

There are many hazards to life even in the more stable present era. Radiation, harmful gasses from volcanic activity , for instance cyanide.

So?

So lets just cut the bull and get right to the point. Random chaos or God ?

Thanks for a wonderful example of the "fallacy of false dichotomy". There are many more possibilities than just those two, son. And evolution is not "random chaos" -- try to learn something about it before you attempt to critique it.

I choose God.

Feel free.

you choose random chaos.

No I don't.

Debate over , you lose.

How old are you, twelve?

132 posted on 04/03/2004 4:00:41 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Dimensio
Either you follow Darwin, and wallow in a deep pit filled with maggots and vomit, or you accept creationism, and walk upright in the sunlight. Debate over, you lose.
</genius mode>
133 posted on 04/03/2004 4:01:18 AM PST by PatrickHenry (A compassionate evolutionist!)
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To: Freesofar
WoW thers enough info there to fill a HUGE dumpster, should we call the shredder ? maybe we can recycle it ?

Thanks for the honest admission of how creationists deal with the scientific evidence.

134 posted on 04/03/2004 4:01:37 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Freesofar
Proof (which you will choose to ignore of course)

Wrong *again*.

1. To make a mathematical formula of any kind takes intelligence.

And this has *what* do with evolution, please? Evolution is not about the "making of mathematical formulas". It's about changes in organisms across generations. Where did you get the impression that it was about scribbling equations on the blackboard or something?

Show me a pattern in nature that is not complex ( fractals, DNA )

The rotation of the earth is a pattern in nature that is not complex. (Are you actually going anywhere with this?)

2. The simplest way to demonstrate statistical probability is to flip a coin. Heads or Tails ? only problem is it takes someone to flip the coin.

You're clearly unfamiliar with the natural random flipping of polar molecules in a gas (for just one example), which takes place just fine without "someone to flip the coin". Back to school with you.

3. First Law of Physics.

Nice noun phrase -- going anywhere with it?

Debate over , you lose

I revise my estimate downward: ten?

135 posted on 04/03/2004 4:08:55 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Freesofar
#3 first Law of Physics

Again, what about it?

1st Law of debating: never answer a question that is designed to refract the point.

You might want to look up the definition of the word "refract" before you misuse it again.

But if I understand your mangled sentence, you appear to be saying that you intend to run away from any challenge to your position.

Mathematics cannot prove or disprove creation. Only faith can do that.

Faith can't do it either -- are you sure you understand the meaning of the word "prove"?

I have never been to Japan but I have faith it is there.

No, you have a great deal of evidence that it is there from multiple independent and verifiable sources, and thus concluding that Japan is there does not require "faith".

I have never seen an electron but I have faith an electron will deliver this message to your brain.

The photons feel left out.

136 posted on 04/03/2004 4:13:08 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: fish hawk
What's a gap?

Ask the creationists, they're always obsessing over them.

You could drive a battleship through the holes in evolutions missing links.

Oh really? Such as?

137 posted on 04/03/2004 4:14:35 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Freesofar
"An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force."

And this allegedly disproves evolution... how?

Something has to make "something " happen.

Even accepting that as a valid restatement of Newton's first law of motion (and it most certainly is not), this allegedly disproves evolution.... how?

From nothing, nothing comes.

Feel free to try to prove that.

In the meantime, I'm sure you'll be relieved to learn that evolution does not require "something from nothing", so your digression is irrelevant to the discussion.

138 posted on 04/03/2004 4:16:26 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
The bottomless pit of Darwinite vomit, or creationist glory? Debate over, you lose.
139 posted on 04/03/2004 4:16:52 AM PST by PatrickHenry (A compassionate evolutionist!)
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To: fish hawk
You're right, evolution teaches NOTHING, it guesses.

Feel free to document this amazing assertion of yours.

You can tell that from the proof they have.(none)

Post #110 just sailed *right* over your head, *WHOOSH*, didn't it?

140 posted on 04/03/2004 4:17:28 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Freesofar
Random occurrance or intelligent design. Take the evidence and decide.

I've taken the evidence, and decided that neither of your "choices" apply. Instead, the evidence indicates evolution, which is neither "random occurrance [sic]" nor "intelligent design".

Does your bathroom clean itself up. Did a tree come from a tiny seed and grow into a giant Sequoia from the code in a molecule at random ? Like a coin falling from a table ?

No, no, and no. Do you have any relevant points? No, no, and no.

How does the evidence suggest random ?

It doesn't, it suggests evolution.

Maybe the coin fell over and replaced itself three million times and somehow got up went and mixed the nucleic acids into a complex code.

Or maybe you need to learn something about evolution before you continue to misunderstand and misrepresent it.

141 posted on 04/03/2004 4:19:58 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: fish hawk
Now when I read stupid theories etc. I will try to be calm and just think what I think.

I prefer to read non-stupid theories, actually, like evolution.

Like how can a mature human not believe in Biblical things yet believe all the trash about evolution.

Which "trash" would that be, exactly?

In both cases it is "faith",no?

No. Accepting evolution does not require "faith", it requires familiarity with the evidence, understanding of the process involved, and knowledge.

142 posted on 04/03/2004 4:22:17 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: PatrickHenry
The bottomless pit of Darwinite vomit, or creationist glory? Debate over, you lose.

*smirk*.

Sheesh, man, go to bed already. At least one of us has to be rested to take the day shift.

143 posted on 04/03/2004 4:24:03 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
Quagmire ... quagmire!!
144 posted on 04/03/2004 4:28:43 AM PST by PatrickHenry (A compassionate evolutionist!)
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To: edsheppa
Just a little programming humor.

C++, yeah. One of the things I didn't have experience in when I was being shaken out of the programming tree ten years ago. Suddenly "object-oriented" was the answer to everything and the best thing since sliced bread.

Got me thinking that the academic types really do change the fads every so often just to thrash the market for new courses.

145 posted on 04/03/2004 5:08:50 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: greenwolf
The problem is that I could go to any academic library in America to the math section and however many books they have on probability and statistics, that's how much evidence I'd have AGAINST evolution. Every one of those books is a blanket refutation of evolution, from alpha to omega, from the front cover to the back cover. Page after page after page after page after......

Presented with 29+ lines of independent evidence that life on earth is related by common descent, you make a cross with your fingers and yell "Statistics!" to make it all vanish in a puff of smoke.

You don't learn anything that way, not that you're trying to. You have nothing to offer science or science education.

Retrospective astonishment is a lousy argument for dismissing history anyway. Much of what happens all the time is in some sense improbable. Specific people do win the Lottery, sooner or later. Shuffle a card deck and deal it out. What you see, whether or not it looks like anything to you, is a one chance in 52 factorial outcome. (One in fifty-two times fifty-one times fifty times forty-nine ... times three times two times one.) Every time.

146 posted on 04/03/2004 5:22:33 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: Freesofar
Newton's first law of motion is known as "Newton's first law of motion." (Kepler, just for one, had a first law, too.)
147 posted on 04/03/2004 5:30:39 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: Ichneumon
You can lead a donkey to water...
148 posted on 04/03/2004 5:32:01 AM PST by greenwolf
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To: Freesofar
Random occurrance or intelligent design.

False dichotomy. Very little is truly random. Even throwing a pair of dice across the street is a deterministic process. (It's just practically impossible to model accurately.)

149 posted on 04/03/2004 5:33:10 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: greenwolf
From Are the Odds Against the Origin of Life Too Great to Accept?:

Murray Eden and the Wistar Institute

Schroeder cites a Wistar institute conference as showing evidence of the improbability of evolution. The symposium was transcribed from audio and published in 1967 as Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, a Symposium Held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology April 25 and 26, 1966, Paul Moorhead and Martin Kaplan, eds. Needless to say, this is quite out of date. Worse, it does not support Schroeder at all. Only one paper comes anywhere near proposing that the origin of life and subsequent evolution is improbable: Murray Eden, "Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory" (pp. 5-20). He does not really argue that evolution is improbable, but rather that no present theory accounts for certain peculiarities of life on earth, especially the fact that all living organisms are composed of a very tiny fraction of all the possible proteins.

In particular, Eden argues that given all "polypeptide chains of length 250 [amino acids] or less...There are about 20^250 such words or about 10^325" (p. 7). This number is ripe for quoting, but it does not stand as the odds against life, and even Eden did not even imply such a meaning--to the contrary, he admits that perhaps "functionally useful proteins are very common in this space [of 10^325 arrangements]," and facing tough criticism in a discussion period (where his paper was torn apart, pp. 12-9) he was forced to admit again that perhaps "there are other domains in this tremendous space which are equally likely to be carriers of life" (p. 15). But his main argument is that life is concentrated around a tiny fraction of this possible protein development "space" and we have yet to explain why--although his critics point out why in discussion: once one system involving a score of proteins was selected, none others could compete even if they were to arise, thus explaining why all life has been built on one tiny set of proteins. One thing that even his critics in discussion missed is the fact that his number is wrong: he only calculates the number of those chains that are 250 acids long, but he refers to all those and all smaller chains, and to include all of those he must sum the total combinations for every chain from length 1 to 250. Of course, the number "250" is entirely arbitrary to begin with. He could have picked 100, 400, or 20. He gives no arguments for his choice, and as we have seen, this can have nothing to do with the first life, whose chain-length cannot be known or even guessed at [5].

Among the huge flaws in Eden's paper, pointed out by his critics, is that he somehow calculates, without explanation, that 120 point mutations would require 2,700,000 generations (among other things, he assumes a ridiculously low mutation rate of 1 in 1 million offspring). But in reality, even if only 1 mutation dominates a population every 20 generations, it will only take 2400 generations to complete a 120-point change--and that even assumes only 1 point mutation per generation, yet chromosome mixing and gene-pool variation will naturally produce many at a time, and mix and match as mating proceeds. Moreover, a beneficial gene can dominate a population faster than 20 generations, and will also be subject to further genetic improvements even before it has reached dominance. I discuss all of these problems in my analysis of Schroeder above. But in the same Wistar symposium publication, C. H. Waddington (in his "Summary Discussion") hits the nail so square on the head that I will quote his remarks at great length:

The point was made that to account for some evolutionary changes in hemoglobin, one requires about 120 amino acid substitutions...as individual events, as though it is necessary to get one of them done and spread throughout the whole population before you could start processing the next one...[and] if you add up the time for all those sequential steps, it amounts to quite a long time. But the point the biologists want to make is that that isn't really what is going on at all. We don't need 120 changes one after the other. We know perfectly well of 12 changes which exist in the human population at the present time. There are probably many more which we haven't detected, because they have such slight physiological effects...[so] there [may be] 20 different amino acid sequences in human hemoglobins in the world population at present, all being processed simultaneously...Calculations about the length of time of evolutionary steps have to take into account the fact that we are dealing with gene pools, with a great deal of genetic variability, present simultaneously. To deal with them as sequential steps is going to give you estimates that are wildly out." (pp. 95-6)

150 posted on 04/03/2004 5:46:40 AM PST by VadeRetro
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