missing link found! for real

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missing link found! for real

Postby helo darqness » Wed May 20, 2009 4:14 am

If God controls the land and disease,
Keeps a watchful eye on me,
If he's really so damn mighty,
My problem is I can't see,
Well who would wanna be?
Who would wanna be such a control freak?
--Modest Mouse
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Postby Edward » Wed May 20, 2009 7:08 am

Yay, another one for the creationists to ignore... It's great and all that we have a better idea of the link between mammals and reptiles, but it won't make any difference to the IDiots.
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Postby helo darqness » Wed May 20, 2009 12:07 pm

well matt pointed out how we got from the sundial to the wristwatch is an example of evolution, but i think they should devote more time to that analogy.

EVERYTHING evolves. The internet and how it got from a BBS to what it is today was slow and incremental.

the automobile, any example of technology like computers and cellphones....and these things develop fast so we can see the many stages and transitionary models.

i wish the hosts just addressed this a little more. so the fundies can understand what evolution really is and its a natural process for everything.

"until i see a dog give birth to a cat..."

"yeah mother fucker, until i see a man walk on water, or part a sea..."
If God controls the land and disease,
Keeps a watchful eye on me,
If he's really so damn mighty,
My problem is I can't see,
Well who would wanna be?
Who would wanna be such a control freak?
--Modest Mouse
helo darqness
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:10 pm
Location: Queens, NY

Postby dromedaryhump1 » Thu May 21, 2009 12:15 am

Uh...I'd be very circumspect about buying into the "missing link" hype.

While the fossil is interesting and may provide us with info, to dub it with such a title, and embue it with very special meaning at this early time is a bit premature, IMO.

As Free thinkers / atheists, we are, or typically have been, naturally skeptical. Jumping on the "missing link" bandwagon on the first news article and photo is something best reserved for people who believe in pictures of Bigfoot, or faces on the moon.

I for one will wait for some peer review, vetting of the data, and corroborating opinions by experts in a number of fields before I credit this finding with anything as earth shaking as "missing link". To do less makes us look as gulible and having a need to "believe" in support of our "agenda" as a religionist.

Hump
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Postby Edward » Thu May 21, 2009 12:26 am

According to the news report I watched earlier, it's been inspected in secret for the past two years, Hump. It was apparently found in the Messel Pit, which is a known source of high-quality fossils, about 25 years ago.

It could be a hoax, but it doesn't look that way at first glance. I agree that people should wait for better verification, but either way, if it's real the fundies are going to ignore it and if it's fake they're going to say "every single scientist fell for it!" as they usually do.

'sides, the term "missing link" is rather meaningless. Every time you find a missing link you make two new missing links around it. This is just one big hole turned into two smaller ones. With a lot of information about the new fossil, of course. You know what I mean, we've all been there with the fundies.
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Postby eimerian » Thu May 21, 2009 8:50 am

Im not happy with this media hype at all for several reasons.

I always try to imagine how a person without any training in biology or science would interpret the reports about the darwinius fossil. And most news reports Ive seen so far convey this message "Hey we found the missing link! Evolution is proven now!"

And that is a problem because (while I dont want to downplay the significance of this fossil) as far as "proving" evolution is concerned its irrelevant. With all the genetic evidence of today we dont actually require a single fossilized bone to show that we came from hominids, hominids came from great apes, great apes came from monkeys and so on. (Again I dont want to downplay paleontology. Additional data is a great thing.)

But Joe Blow sitting in front of his TV is not aware of that. And when in about 1 week there will be new reports saying that D. masillae was classified as a monkey and probably is not our direct ancestor he will be like "Oh. So these scientist dont know everything after all. I guess evolution is still just a theory now."

And I guess we will see creationists write stuff like this:

"Remember in 2009 when evilutianist said they found the missing link but they didnt? It was all over the news and then it turned out it was the skeleton of a monkey after all." :roll:

PS:

well matt pointed out how we got from the sundial to the wristwatch is an example of evolution, but i think they should devote more time to that analogy.


Im afraid technology is a bad example for biological evolution since advancement in technology requires intelligent design.

Genetic algorithms make a much better example because they are an example of information emerging from randomness.
Jesus saves.
Do not remove memory card, controller, or reset/switch off the console.
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Postby anthonyvh » Thu May 21, 2009 2:48 pm

The entire term "missing link" is an error resulting from a gross misunderstanding of the nature of phylogeny. In the absence of a record of generational descent, it makes sense to classify organisms by their distinct physiology and divide them into phylogenetic groups.

HOWEVER, to claim that any particular specimen represents tree of life "glue" is just ignorance...ignorance that is being systematically repeated and reinforced in the public mind. Phylogenetics is a convenient book-keeping method for tracking patterns of descent: nothing more. And paraphyletic taxonomy is dead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6TEDuDD3Zs
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Postby dromedaryhump1 » Thu May 21, 2009 9:46 pm

edward,
oh..i don't think it a hoax. I just object to the extreme hype "missing link" thing.
anthony and eimerain reflect my feelings, and put it more concisely than I did.

hump
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