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Famed fossil isn't a bird after all, analysis says (Archaeopteryx)
http://www.physorg.com ^ | July 27, 2011 | By MALCOLM RITTER

Posted on 07/27/2011 1:55:41 PM PDT by Red Badger

One of the world's most famous fossil creatures, widely considered the earliest known bird, is getting a rude present on the 150th birthday of its discovery: A new analysis suggests it isn't a bird at all.

Chinese scientists are proposing a change to the evolutionary family tree that boots Archaeopteryx off the "bird" branch and onto a closely related branch of birdlike dinosaurs.

Archaeopteryx (ahr-kee-AHP'-teh-rihx) was a crow-sized creature that lived about 150 million years ago. It had wings and feathers, but also quite un-birdlike traits like teeth and a bony tail. Discovered in 1861 in Germany, two years after Charles Darwin published "On the Origin of Species," it quickly became an icon for evolution and has remained popular since.

The Chinese scientists acknowledge they have only weak evidence to support their proposal, which hinges on including a newly recognized dinosaur.

Other experts say the change could easily be reversed by further discoveries. And while it might shake scientific understanding within the bird lineage, they said, it doesn't make much difference for some other evolutionary questions.

Archaeopteryx dwells in a section of the family tree that's been reshuffled repeatedly over the past 15 or 20 years and still remains murky. It contains the small, two-legged dinosaurs that took the first steps toward flight. Fossil discoveries have blurred the distinction between dinosaurlike birds and birdlike dinosaurs, with traits such as feathers and wishbones no longer seen as reliable guides.

"Birds have been so embedded within this group of small dinosaurs ... it's very difficult to tell who is who," said Lawrence Witmer of Ohio University, who studies early bird evolution but didn't participate in the new study.

The proposed reclassification of Archaeopteryx wouldn't change the idea that birds arose from this part of the tree, he said, but it could make scientists reevaluate what they think about evolution within the bird lineage itself.

"Much of what we've known about the early evolution of birds has in a sense been filtered through Archaeopteryx," Witmer said. "Archaeopteryx has been the touchstone... (Now) the centerpiece for many of those hypotheses may or may not be part of that lineage."

The new analysis is presented in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature by Xing Xu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, and colleagues. They compared 384 specific anatomical traits of 89 species to figure out how the animals were related. The result was a tree that grouped Archaeopteryx with deinonychosaurs, two-legged meat-eaters that are evolutionary cousins to birds.

But that result appeared only when the analysis included a previously unknown dinosaur that's similar to Archaeopteryx, which the researchers dubbed Xiaotingia zhengi. It was about the size of a chicken when it lived some 160 million years ago in the Liaoning province of China, home to many feathered dinosaurs and early birds.

Julia Clarke of the University of Texas at Austin, who did not participate in the study, said the reclassification appeared to be justified by the current data. But she emphasized the study dealt with a poorly understood section of the evolutionary tree, and that more fossil discoveries could very well shift Archaeopteryx back to the "bird" branch.

Anyway, moving it "a couple of branches" isn't a huge change, and whether it's considered a bird or not is mostly a semantic issue that doesn't greatly affect larger questions about the origin of flight, she said.

Luis Chiappe, an expert in early bird evolution at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County who wasn't part of the new study, said he doesn't think the evidence is very solid.

"I feel this needs to be reassessed by other people, and I'm sure it will be," he said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: archaeopteryx; birds; dinosaurs; evolution; godgravesglyphs; godsgravesglyphs; marktwain
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This artist's rendition released by Nature shows what scientists at Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing are dubbing "Xiaotingia zhengi." The discovery of its fossilized remains helped scientists propose an evolutionary tree that suggests archaeopteryx is not a bird. (AP Photo/Nature, Xing Lida and Liu Yi)


1 posted on 07/27/2011 1:55:43 PM PDT by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

I never thought it was a “bird” as in modern “birds”. It was presented as something else - some creature evolving on the way to birds. It had teeth and clawed fingers on the wings - un”birdlike” characteristics among others.

When looking at fossil remains and trying to piece them together with modern groups or species, it is like looking at twigs and pieces of branchs and trunks from a tree and trying to reconstruct the whole tree. When the pieces you have very often represent only a very small percentage of the entire tree, its difficult to point with certainty a particular twig and identify it as being in the same branch as another twig.


2 posted on 07/27/2011 2:06:02 PM PDT by ZULU (Crapo, Coburn and Chambliss are a herd of renegade RINOs.)
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To: ZULU

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

“It is notable for having chicks which possess claws on two of their wing digits.”


3 posted on 07/27/2011 2:08:07 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: Red Badger

Oh, good. Now I don’t have to make a fool of myself trying to pronounce the name in public.


4 posted on 07/27/2011 2:10:20 PM PDT by righttackle44 (I may not be much, but I raised a U.S. Marine.)
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To: Red Badger

The important question is,”What does it taste like?”


5 posted on 07/27/2011 2:13:00 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Red Badger

Interesting article and a good read, although I’m wondering how many people will skip over this line from the article and just focus on the headline;

“The Chinese scientists acknowledge they have only weak evidence to support their proposal, which hinges on including a newly recognized dinosaur.”


6 posted on 07/27/2011 2:13:28 PM PDT by krobara18 (I fully admit I may not have all of the details and could therefore be wrong on all counts)
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To: Red Badger

Bird or not they tasted like chicken.


7 posted on 07/27/2011 2:13:35 PM PDT by TigersEye (No dark sarcasm in the press room ... Hey!, Barry!, leave them bills alone.)
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To: Red Badger

Evolutionists strike out again!


8 posted on 07/27/2011 2:13:45 PM PDT by struggle
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To: James C. Bennett

chicks which possess claws on two of their wing digits...

...thought for a moment we were discussing some of my high school dates...


9 posted on 07/27/2011 2:16:11 PM PDT by IrishBrigade
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To: James C. Bennett

chicks which possess claws on two of their wing digits...

...thought for a moment we were discussing some of my high school dates...


10 posted on 07/27/2011 2:16:22 PM PDT by IrishBrigade
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To: Red Badger

well.. I guess I can smash up all them slabs of these little fellas and use them for walkways... let a future generation put the pieces together. (just kidding, what do they go for?)


11 posted on 07/27/2011 2:19:18 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard .. Obama: Epic Fail or Bust!!!)
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To: struggle

An Archaeopteryx is a bird is a tree is a bike is a boy. Uhmm, I think I am getting this evolution thing. S/


12 posted on 07/27/2011 2:23:45 PM PDT by healy61
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To: Red Badger

Looks like a doorman at some weird disco in the early 80s.


13 posted on 07/27/2011 2:24:20 PM PDT by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: Red Badger

A-well everybody’s heard about the bird
Bird bird bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a bird bird bird, bird is the word
A-well-a bird bird bird, well-a bird is the word
A-well-a bird bird bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well a bird bird bird, well-a bird is the word
A-well-a bird bird b-bird’s the word
A-well-a bird bird bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a bird bird bird, well the bird is the word
A-well-a bird bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a don’t you know about the bird?
Well everybody knows that the bird is the word

A-well-a bird bird b-bird’s the word
A-well-a

A-well-a everybody’s hearin’ about the bird
Bird bird bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a bird bird bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a bird bird bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a bird bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a bird bird bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a bird bird bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a bird bird bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a bird bird bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well-a don’t you know about the bird?
Well everybody’s talkin’ all about the bird!

A-well-a bird bird, b-bird’s the word
A-well a bird

Surfin’ bird

[gibberish]

Well don’t you know about the bird?
Well everybody knows that the bird is the word!
A-well-a bird bird, b-bird’s the word

[gibberish]


14 posted on 07/27/2011 2:28:22 PM PDT by bunkerhill7
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To: tet68
The important question is,”What does it taste like?”

Pteranodon.

15 posted on 07/27/2011 2:30:30 PM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Rose, there's a Messerschmitt in the kitchen. Clean it up, will ya?)
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To: healy61

Creationists are Imageo Dei.
Evolutionists are Imageo Goo.


16 posted on 07/27/2011 2:31:15 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: Red Badger

The chinese can play with semantics and try to secure their hegemony in the scientific world by playing with labels all they want, Archaeopteryx simply is what it is, an undeniable evolutionary link between reptiles and the rise of the true birds. They need to stick to stuff they know like harvesting kidneys from condemned political prisoners.


17 posted on 07/27/2011 2:35:47 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Red Badger

” Xiaotingia zhengi.”

Xiao means little or small. Pronounced pretty much like ‘chow,’ I have a grey tiger cat named Xiaohu. Little Tiger.


18 posted on 07/27/2011 2:48:30 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Red Badger

Well, I was taught in HS that Archaeopteryx was a bird, so I’m sticking to it.

On the other hand, I was taught in HS that “Natural Born Citizen” meant born on the soil of parents who were citizens.

So who the F knows these daze???


19 posted on 07/27/2011 2:58:02 PM PDT by djf (One of the few FReepers who NEVER clicked the "dead weasel" thread!! But may not last much longer...)
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To: bunkerhill7

That song is used by a local used car lot in their commercials.
They have the sales people doing the funky chicken in the parking lot while it plays in the background........


20 posted on 07/27/2011 3:05:25 PM PDT by Red Badger (PEAS in our time? Obama cries PEAS! PEAS! when there is no PEAS!..........................)
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To: ZULU
Dinos didn't evolve into birds. There is no way the lung system of a lizard or a mammal could have evolved into the lung system of a bird. How would the intermediate species(of which absolutely none have been found)have survived while these changes took place? Many of the so called "dino bird" fossils recently found in China, in fact all, have been outed as fakes and the so called feathers were not feathers at all.

To say birds evolved from a ground bound species like raptors is BS, especially when there were many air borne species already flying around. Why wouldn't the flying lizards have been the ones to evolve into birds? The fact is, there is zero evidence to support the dino to bird theory except for speculation on the parts of evolutionists.

21 posted on 07/27/2011 3:09:43 PM PDT by calex59
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To: ZULU

Like the story of the blind men and the elephant.......


22 posted on 07/27/2011 3:09:47 PM PDT by Red Badger (PEAS in our time? Obama cries PEAS! PEAS! when there is no PEAS!..........................)
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To: djf

If it looks like a duck.....


23 posted on 07/27/2011 3:11:08 PM PDT by Red Badger (PEAS in our time? Obama cries PEAS! PEAS! when there is no PEAS!..........................)
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To: Red Badger

Heck, the next thing you know scientists will figure out that petroleum doesn’t come from “fossils” 5000 feet under hard granite.....


24 posted on 07/27/2011 3:39:01 PM PDT by ScreamingFist (Quiet the Idiot)
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To: calex59

Many of the so called “dino bird” fossils recently found in China, in fact all, have been outed as fakes and the so called feathers were not feathers at all.

?????

People who refute evolution are as unconvinceable as atheists. Atheists wouldn’t believe in Christ if he turned water into wine right under their noses, and anti-evolutionists try to explain away the preponderant weight of scientific evidence which sustains evolution, with convoluted, distorted arguments which are more unbelievable than the theory they attempt to disprove.

The Archeopteryx has definite intermediate characteristics - wings, feathers, teeth, claws. The presumable dinosaurs which gave rise to birds had wishbones, hollows in their bones, the same foot structure, and in some cases, feathers.

“Why wouldn’t the flying lizards have been the ones to evolve into birds? “

They do have as close a skeletal similarity to birds as do Raptor like dinosaurs. Their flight was more similar to that of bats than of birds.


25 posted on 07/27/2011 9:30:46 PM PDT by ZULU (Crapo, Coburn and Chambliss are a herd of renegade RINOs.)
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To: calex59

Many of the so called “dino bird” fossils recently found in China, in fact all, have been outed as fakes and the so called feathers were not feathers at all.

?????

People who refute evolution are as unconvinceable as atheists. Atheists wouldn’t believe in Christ if he turned water into wine right under their noses, and anti-evolutionists try to explain away the preponderant weight of scientific evidence which sustains evolution, with convoluted, distorted arguments which are more unbelievable than the theory they attempt to disprove.

The Archeopteryx has definite intermediate characteristics - wings, feathers, teeth, claws. The presumable dinosaurs which gave rise to birds had wishbones, hollows in their bones, the same foot structure, and in some cases, feathers.

“Why wouldn’t the flying lizards have been the ones to evolve into birds? “

They do have as close a skeletal similarity to birds as do Raptor like dinosaurs. Their flight was more similar to that of bats than of birds.


26 posted on 07/27/2011 9:30:52 PM PDT by ZULU (Crapo, Coburn and Chambliss are a herd of renegade RINOs.)
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To: calex59
To say birds evolved from a ground bound species like raptors is BS, especially when there were many air borne species already flying around.

Also, Archeopteryx is much older than these supposed therapod dino-bird missing links that are featured on, say, Discovery channel.

27 posted on 07/27/2011 11:11:17 PM PDT by Ethan Clive Osgoode (<<== Click here to learn about Evolution!)
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To: Red Badger; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks Red Badger.

Note: this topic is from July 27, 2011.

It got added to the catalog, but didn't get pinged somehow or other.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


28 posted on 09/15/2011 6:07:17 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ZULU

Actually the Chinese fake birds were in the news a couple of times in the 90s, also some fake dinosaur re-assemblys. Folks wanted to make a little money.


29 posted on 09/15/2011 6:23:34 PM PDT by ThanhPhero (Khach hanh huong den La Vang)
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To: calex59

Interesting post. I have wondered why anyone would think that a creature with scales would, through natural selection, grow feathers. Until it was completely feathered and able to fly, there seems no benefit and a pretty significant liability to having a few feathers versus having a lot of scales. Add to that the transition from cold blooded to warm blooded... well, again, it is hard to see that happening incrementally as there is no survival advantage until the transition is complete.


30 posted on 09/15/2011 6:24:37 PM PDT by TN4Liberty (My tagline disappeared so this is my new one.)
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To: righttackle44

R-ky-op-tur-icks


31 posted on 09/16/2011 12:48:08 PM PDT by LiteKeeper ("Who is John Galt?")
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To: TN4Liberty
TN4Liberty: "I have wondered why anyone would think that a creature with scales would, through natural selection, grow feathers.
Until it was completely feathered and able to fly, there seems no benefit and a pretty significant liability to having a few feathers versus having a lot of scales. "

The first reason for feathers, before flight was even possible, would be body temperature control for small creatures.
Feathers are insullation, keeping small animals warmer in the cold and cooler in warm times.
If those feathered animals now leap from one tree to another, or off a high bank, certain types of feathers might help extend the leap, or slow the fall...

Get it?

TN4Liberty: "Add to that the transition from cold blooded to warm blooded... well, again, it is hard to see that happening incrementally as there is no survival advantage until the transition is complete."

"Hard to see..."??
Of course it's hard to see, if you refuse to open your eyes, pal.

Today, the very words cold blooded and warm blooded are falling into disuse, precisely because there are so many intermediate living animals which have some characteristics of both.

Among generally colder-blooded animals, tuna, swordfish and sharks have some warm-blooded characteristics.
Among generally warmer-blooded animals, bats and some small birds have have colder-blooded characteristics.

Warm blooded fish

In short, even today there are advantages to intermediate forms.

Why is that so "hard to see..."?

32 posted on 09/16/2011 2:29:08 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: bunkerhill7
Surfer Bird was recorded by The Trashmen, which seems fitting. I am not anti-evolution, but I am pretty tired of all the trash that evolutionary theorists come up with to explain how species A evolved into species B.

In plain fact, no scientist can explain how these evolutionary leaps occured. And then there is the enigma of how complex life arose spontaneously from carbon chains in the seas. If they stuck to just the well established facts, evolutionists would have to admit they have no adequate theory to explain either life's origins or the flowering of so many species.

33 posted on 09/16/2011 2:38:33 PM PDT by ARepublicanForAllReasons (The world will be a better place when humanity learns not to try to make it a perfect place)
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To: BroJoeK
Feathers are insullation, keeping small animals warmer in the cold and cooler in warm times.

Certainly this is a possibility. But then someone needs to explain why my cat doesn't have feathers. In fact, I am aware of no small mammal which sports featers rather than fur.

As I stated above, I am not anti-evolution (ie. I am not a 'created by God in 7 days' person). But I believe evolution has been intelligently guided, either directly by God or indirectly by some sort of feedback mechanism whereby the built-in intelligence of Nature is able to assess data from the environment and design evolutionary changes accordingly. I do not believe in a Nature-as-God concept such as Gaia. I believe in the Holy Father of Jesus.

If the above is not perfectly clear it's because evolutionary science is primarily still in the theoretical stage. I don't have the answers to the vital questions, but I can recognize dissembling on the part of advocates of mechanistic evolution when I encounter it.

34 posted on 09/16/2011 2:52:06 PM PDT by ARepublicanForAllReasons (The world will be a better place when humanity learns not to try to make it a perfect place)
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To: ARepublicanForAllReasons
ARepublicanForAllReasons: "In plain fact, no scientist can explain how these evolutionary leaps occured."

Of course they can.
You just don't like the explanations, because they don't fit your religious ideas.

Evolution facts include the confirmed observations of A) descent with modifications and B) natural selection.

Evolution theory is many-times confirmed in the fossil record, in DNA analyses and inputs from virtually every other branch of science.
And there is no other scientific theory to compete with Evolution.
Indeed, there is not even a serious alternate scientific hypothesis out there.

Yes, the origin of life on earth is the subject of several scientific hypotheses, most of them various possible types of abiogenesis.
Another two potential hypotheses have been mentioned, though neither is testable scientifically: panspermia (life arrived on meteors from outer space) and intelligent design (which is unspecified in scientific terms).

ARepublicanForAllReasons: "If they stuck to just the well established facts, evolutionists would have to admit they have no adequate theory to explain either life's origins or the flowering of so many species."

Evolution theory does not explain life's origins.
Evolution theory begins once life has started.
Several hypotheses for abiogenesis have been proposed, though none has yet been confirmed.

The "flowering of so many species" is a simple extension over time of basic evoloutionary processes: A) descent with modifications and B) natural selection.

35 posted on 09/16/2011 3:15:00 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: ARepublicanForAllReasons
ARepublicanForAllReasons: "But then someone needs to explain why my cat doesn't have feathers.
In fact, I am aware of no small mammal which sports featers rather than fur."

Bird down feathers have enough similarities to mammal hair to suggest they evolved to serve the same purposes.
Consider:

These facts suggest that mammal hair likely evolved many mullions of years before the earliest bird feathers.
But there is no reason I know of to expect any connection will be found between the earliest mammal hair and later bird down feathers.

ARepublicanForAllReasons: "I don't have the answers to the vital questions, but I can recognize dissembling on the part of advocates of mechanistic evolution when I encounter it."

I shudder to think whom you might have "encountered".
Did you not have a good science teacher in any grade in school?
Basic science consists of facts (=confirmed observations), hypotheses (unconfirmed explanations) and theories (confirmed explanations), plus an occasional scientific "law" which can be expressed mathematically.

Regarding evolution, there are facts, a confirmed theory and a number of unconfirmed hypotheses.
There are no mathematical "laws" of evolution, that I know of.

So, my point is: what, exactly is your problem with the scientific facts, theory and hypotheses relating to evolution?

36 posted on 09/16/2011 3:56:31 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK

So you feel the need to be insulting why?


37 posted on 09/16/2011 7:44:20 PM PDT by TN4Liberty (My tagline disappeared so this is my new one.)
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To: TN4Liberty
TN4Liberty: "So you feel the need to be insulting why?"

Quote the alleged insult, and explain your problem with it.

More important, explain why you can't see what should be perfectly obvious.

38 posted on 09/17/2011 2:54:03 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK

“TN4Liberty: “So you feel the need to be insulting why?”

Quote the alleged insult, and explain your problem with it.

More important, explain why you can’t see what should be perfectly obvious. “

Confrontational? Condescending? Better words? I would think that only a social misfit wouldn’t see that in your words. One must assume you were either deliberately insulting or socially tone deaf to explain your remarks. I’ll accept a third hypothesis if you can present one.

BTW, doing a little research - the feather from scale conversion is just one of many theories, all speculative, and all with holes in them. None are apparently universally accepted. Some speculation exists that perhaps scales evolved from feathers. Or perhaps both evolved from a common cell type that birds now have on their legs. Interesting concepts, don’t you think? One might wonder why you can’t see alternatives that are so obvious.

Also, I’d appreciate some links describing cold blooded birds and warm blooded reptiles you speak of (or semi-cold/semi-warm). Thanks in advance.


39 posted on 09/17/2011 8:30:20 AM PDT by TN4Liberty (My tagline disappeared so this is my new one.)
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To: TN4Liberty

Ah, you did provide links. Wikipedia. I’ll get right on that. Meanwhile, you can go back to insulting everyone on the thread.


40 posted on 09/17/2011 8:33:45 AM PDT by TN4Liberty (My tagline disappeared so this is my new one.)
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To: TN4Liberty
TN4Liberty: "Confrontational? Condescending? Better words?
I would think that only a social misfit wouldn’t see that in your words.
One must assume you were either deliberately insulting or socially tone deaf to explain your remarks."

Please quote an example of where I called anyone a "social misfit", "tone deaf" or any other insulting, confrontational or condescending terms.
Then explain why, precisely, you consider the quoted remark "socially tone deaf".

TN4Liberty: "the feather from scale conversion is just one of many theories, all speculative, and all with holes in them.
None are apparently universally accepted."

So I'll ask you the same question I asked ARepublicanForAllReasons: did you never have a good science teacher?
Did no one ever explain to you the differences between scientific facts, hypotheses and theories, or what a "scientific law" has to have?

Do you not immediately recognize an unconfirmed hypothesis versus a confirmed theory?

There are no confirmed theories that I know of regarding the early development of feathers.

TN4Liberty: "Ah, you did provide links. Wikipedia. I’ll get right on that."

Why use more complex stuff with folks who don't know even the basics?

41 posted on 09/17/2011 9:47:36 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK

I didn’t say you called anyone socially tone deaf or deliberately insulting. I said you must be to not understand how your comments would be offensive.

Did you never have an English teacher?

I didn’t ask you to comment on my first post, yet you felt the need to get involved and start insulting me. Please stop replying to me now. I now have three data points out of three that confirm my suspicion about the type of person you are, and it is not the type of person I care to engage in discussion. Seeing your comments to others on the thread, it’s clear that the problem is you, not me. I’ll consider my assessment a “confirmed theory.”


42 posted on 09/17/2011 10:11:30 AM PDT by TN4Liberty (My tagline disappeared so this is my new one.)
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To: BroJoeK
Then explain why, precisely, you consider the quoted remark "socially tone deaf".

This is like asking someone to explain why, precisely, a joke is funny.

43 posted on 09/17/2011 10:12:31 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: TN4Liberty
TN4Liberty: "I said you must be to not understand how your comments would be offensive."

You have not quoted a single comment of mine that you consider "offensive".
Therefore, I conclude logically that your protests are all a big charade, intended to cloud over the fact that you have no other evolution related responses to make.

TN4Liberty: "I didn’t ask you to comment on my first post, yet you felt the need to get involved and start insulting me."

Now I have to ask: did no one ever explain to you the difference between Free Republic and, oh, say, a private email?
When you send your own little private email to someone, then other people don't get involved.
When you post on Free Republic you are, in effect, asking other people to post their responses -- especially those who disagree.

Get it?

TN4Liberty: "Please stop replying to me now."

There is a very simple way for you to get the last word here.
All you have to do is agree with me. ;-)

TN4Liberty: "Seeing your comments to others on the thread, it’s clear that the problem is you, not me."

The "problem" here is that many people, such as yourself, enjoy posting their anti-evolution and anti-science remarks without any regard for accuracy or even honesty.

Whenever they or you do that, I like to attempt correcting the record.

44 posted on 09/17/2011 10:53:46 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: krobara18

Chicoms have evolved into chicaps and chiscis


45 posted on 09/17/2011 11:02:13 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ....Rats carry plague)
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To: Yardstick; TN4Liberty
Yardstick: "This is like asking someone to explain why, precisely, a joke is funny."

That's supposed to be a joke, right? ;-)

I'm certain, if you look, you can see just below the FR Reply box where it says:

Free Republic regularly bans posters for violating those policies, and so it is a matter of utmost concern that people understand just what, exactly, is acceptable or not.
For example, just when does an insult become a "personal attack"?

The answer is: nobody knows for certain, but the best policy is to stay well away from anything, including insults, which might be so interpreted.
Then you don't have to worry about it.

But I'll have to say -- Free Republic is normally a pretty rough & tumble world.
Most posters here are not overly sensitized to others' delicate feelings, and don't care at all about about being blunt and to the point.

And in over seven years of posting here, this is the first time I was accused of being "insulting" without any obvious reason for it.

So I take it as a bogus charge -- just a smoke screen to hide the fact the poster (TN4Liberty) had no serious response on matters of Evolution.

46 posted on 09/17/2011 11:11:07 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
Rather than quote each sentence or paragraph, I will simply answer your comments in the same order they were posted.

Re feathers vs hair. You wrote a lot but still didn't explain why mammals have hair, rather than feathers. The default answer for most defenders of Darwinian evolution is that "they are optimal for survival". Yet what experiment has been done to demonstrate that mammals would not fare just as well or better with some sort of feathers? The answer of course is none. So your reply is just a reiteration of Darwinian dogma.

Re what I have "encountered": I had good science teachers in public school. 8th grade science, HS biology and chemistry, where I was introduced to the scientific method of confirming or disproving theories based on analysis of observed facts. I also have earned a BA in Philosophy, where I studied scientific methods, and learned both deductive and inductive logic. (Plus experimental Psychology, laboratory Chemistry, Biology and Astronomy.) I understand that any scientific theory is never 100% proved, nor can it be.

I did not say I was in doubt of evolutionary facts that are supported by strong evidence. What I said was that there are some things that evolutionary theory implies must be true (such as one species evolving into another) that science cannot explain at the present time. IOW, there is no mechanistic model which demonstrates the fact of one species giving rise to another, much less any model which demonstrates with any precision just how this could have occured. There are only extinct intermediary species, which scientists assume to be confirmation of what they already believe, namely, a small number of species giving rise to a greater number and variety of different species no longer able to interbreed. But note please, this has never been observed to occur, nor does the paleontological evidence prove, even within the accepted statistical certainty associated with inductive reasoning, that this must have occured!

You talk down to me as if I were largely unacquainted with science and carried bagload of unquestionable religious dogma. I assure you that I am neither a scientific novice nor a religious dogmatist. In fact, I was a strong evolutionary dogmatist before I came to question whether life could have originated and/or evolved without intelligent guidance.

-- ARFAR

47 posted on 09/17/2011 7:53:20 PM PDT by ARepublicanForAllReasons (The world will be a better place when humanity learns not to try to make it a perfect place)
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To: BroJoeK

Honestly, of all the failings I have had in my life, having a rude stranger on an internet forum say I had “no serious response on matters of Evolution” is one I can probably live with. You take yourself and this topic WAY too seriously.


48 posted on 09/17/2011 7:59:40 PM PDT by TN4Liberty (My tagline disappeared so this is my new one.)
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To: BroJoeK
Of course they can.
You just don't like the explanations, because they don't fit your religious ideas.

I don't like the explanations because they are not explanations, just statements of dogma. All Darwin or any subsequent biologist has proved is that most forms of life are exquisitely adapted to their environment, and that it is very likely that changes within species have occured to explain the fine adaptation. Species-to-species evolution has not been observed (quite unsurprisingly), but more pertinently no theoretical models exist for how most of the changes happened.

For example, it is supposed, due to anatomical similarities, that elephants are cousins to the extinct woolly mammoth. Now I'm just asking how the woolly mammoth lost its wool, grew bigger and flappier ears for better ventilation, modified its tusks and changed its diet from grass to mostly tree limbs, in addition to a myriad of other changes. If you don't know, then you don't know. I never learned it in my biology classes. Are there some super-secret biology departments where these evolutionary changes have plausable models but are kept from being imparted to the general public. Of course not.

We cannot observe the Earth and Sun being formed, but astronomy has plausable models which are quite easily unstood by intelligent laymen, about how they did form. This is not true of speciation. We just hear the same old line that change occured at random in incremental steps until an entirely separate species, well-adapted to its environment, came to be. And you call that an adequate scientific explanation?

Ah, but TIME! Given enough time all the right mutations will come together and culminate in new species. Yes, possibly so, but IMO some intelligence either inherent in Nature or guiding Nature from a non-material realm is more plausible. Of course, I could be wrong and within a few years, using super-computers, the precise mechanisms of speciation may all be explained. Heck, science may even explain how carbon chains floating in a warm ocean can form themselves into extremely complex, self-duplicating DNA molecules, complete with protective cell membranes, RNA and mitochondria and all the other accoutrements necessary for the simplest life. Well, there are simple viruses which lack DNA and invade host DNA, but that presupposes that the more complex life form existed before the virus could arise, doesn't it?

(Note: The Panspermia theory suffers from the same problem, BTW. If life on Earth came from other stars or galaxies, how did the first life emerge? It just pushes the ultimate question further back. If you can guide me to books with real answers for these problems, please do so. But if you even mention Stephen Jay Gould, I will probably never reply to you again.

-- ARFAR

49 posted on 09/17/2011 8:43:51 PM PDT by ARepublicanForAllReasons (The world will be a better place when humanity learns not to try to make it a perfect place)
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To: ARepublicanForAllReasons; BroJoeK; All

Your cat doesn’t have feathers because it evolved from a different branch of evolution that developed fur. More than 2 dozen eye forms have evolved. It is hardly surprising that different forms of surface covering would also evolve.


50 posted on 09/17/2011 11:29:32 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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