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#21 Springer

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 11:58 AM

Yes, you keep saying that.  What you're not saying is why?

Why is it "an unjustified assumption" specifically?

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It's an unjustified assumption because homology fits just as well into the creation hypothesis.

JusTed, you're evading the question. I've given you an example of why homology is an unjustified assumption. What is your response to the pentadactyl limb dillema?

#22 JustTed

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 12:25 PM

It's an unjustified assumption because homology fits just as well into the creation hypothesis.


Okay. So how do we pick between these two competing explinations?

JusTed, you're evading the question.  I've given you an example of why homology is an unjustified assumption.  What is your response to the pentadactyl limb dillema?


I'm not evading the question, I'm still trying to get my original question answered and refuse to get dragged into tangents.

But still, about 4 seconds of Googling and I found a possible answer. I'm reading it now as I've never heard of this problem before. Here you go. Let me know what you think:

http://www.talkorigi...evelopment.html

#23 chance

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 01:20 PM

[/quote]Good points, but that is just the issue, I’m sorry if I am oversimplifying your post but what you wrote seems to be an interpretation based on the belief that humanity did in fact evolve from ape-like creatures what would distinguish it from saying God created man is the evidence and as of yet I have not seen nor read of any convincing evidence that shows that a mutation can cause significant beneficial change or development nor that natural selection can lead to development and modification as that which would have to have occurred in order to turn an ape into a man. [/quote]

I see, what sort of documentation are you reading then? Because the basic premise that mutation is the mechanism for change and selective pressure the sorting medium is well established in main stream science, What is it that makes you sceptical of the findings.


[quote]Natural selection would definitely serve to specialize but I know of no proof that would cause the specialization process to turn the brain of a chimp-like creature into that of a man. [/quote]

I don’t see why you draw a distinction, If being smart or fast is an advantage, then smarter and faster will be selected for the animal that is using that trait as it’s survival strategy.


[quote] The example you gave of the Cheetah having great speed but a fragile frame is a good example but one could also argue that the cheetah has a light frame because such a physiology is most efficient when running at high speeds. This would make it appear that the cheetah having a light frame was purpose driven, not a sacrifice or tradeoff, for speed. At any rate I thought it was a good example but I am unsure of how this helps the case of man developing from apes or ape-like creatures. [/quote]

I was demonstrating that a trait is often a compromise. Part of the problem is from the ‘design’ perspective is that one often hears “look how well such and such is designed for this purpose”, but in reality the ‘design’ is a hot potch of compromises, our own intelligence comes at considerable cost (difficult birth, long childhood).


[quote] As far as what you wrote concerning mankind being conservative I agree, but it still does not really explain why it took as long as it did, the places that mankind where believed to have first appeared ( Eastern Africa, and more recently the Middle East) are not too far from areas that were suitable(relatively) for agriculture (West Africa, Middle East(especially in the past)) and which did develop agriculture. Not only that but wheat and barley(I believe) grew naturally in some places in the Middle East which again seems odd for early man not to have realized its potential for as long as they did considering that they were in the area. [/quote]

In addition to our natural abilities one needs the opportunity to exploit it, the opportunity was for some one or group to realise that planting their food as opposed to eating it is a better strategy. For a nomad what guarantee is there that they will get back and eat the food before a competitor? It is a risk to stick good food in the ground and hope to get a return, and as we are conservative only a few privileged locations on the earth allowed the population to take the risk.

#24 Springer

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 05:24 PM

But still, about 4 seconds of Googling and I found a possible answer.  I'm reading it now as I've never heard of this problem before.  Here you go.  Let me know what you think:

http://www.talkorigi...evelopment.html

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The article you linked me to attempts to debunk that the similar pentadactyl limbs of the frog and man arising by different embryologic structures (a creationist argument). What the article does not address is that the the two limbs are controlled by different gene complexes, so the question still persists... how do you get to two identical structures through different means?
The article did not address my contention that the identical design of the pentadactyl forelimb and hindlimb of land vertebrates provides evidence of ID. There's no conceivable way that one could have evolved from the other, so how do you explain the identical design achieved through mutations of two unrelated gene complexes by chance and natural selection?

#25 Adrian7

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 06:25 PM

Chance wrote:
"I see, what sort of documentation are you reading then? Because the basic premise that mutation is the mechanism for change and selective pressure the sorting medium is well established in main stream science, What is it that makes you sceptical of the findings.
I don’t see why you draw a distinction, If being smart or fast is an advantage, then smarter and faster will be selected for the animal that is using that trait as it’s survival strategy.
I was demonstrating that a trait is often a compromise. Part of the problem is from the ‘design’ perspective is that one often hears “look how well such and such is designed for this purpose”, but in reality the ‘design’ is a hot potch of compromises, our own intelligence comes at considerable cost (difficult birth, long childhood).
In addition to our natural abilities one needs the opportunity to exploit it, the opportunity was for some one or group to realise that planting their food as opposed to eating it is a better strategy. For a nomad what guarantee is there that they will get back and eat the food before a competitor? It is a risk to stick good food in the ground and hope to get a return, and as we are conservative only a few privileged locations on the earth allowed the population to take the risk."



This is probably too vague of an answer but I read many sources (mostly Creationist) and as of yet I have only read about limited observed changes, examples include: Peppered moths and industrial melanism, Beetles losing their wings on windy islands, Anoles growing shorter hind legs when their habitat was changed, certain species of fish losing their eyesight as an adaptation to life in a cave, bacteria and viruses changing and becoming tolerant to antibiotics and vaccines, insects gaining immunity to pesticides, these are all that come to mind at the moment I am sure there are more but at any rate looking at the examples listed I see some fascinating examples of adaptation and survival but I do not see evolution, at least not the one that allegedly drove the coelacanth or some other lobe finned fish out of the sea to eventually become the ancestor of all land vertebrates, or that transformed scales into feathers and drove small therapods to the sky. Is there evidence for this kind of evolution, macroevolution? There may be, I have not read of it and it does not seem to be around as this would be a blow to creationism, but if you know of any sources that will show undeniably that this sort of evolution and not the universally accepted adaptation, microevolution or speciation has been observed or proven in some way I would certainly like to read about it.
You make a good point about what I said concerning natural selection, in retrospect it would make sense for an advantageous trait such as intelligence or speed to be selected and expanded but as has been mentioned before this has not been observed and if gradual evolution is to be believed it is unobservable due to the time required for the development to occur, as of yet this can only be hinted at by fossils and the fossils are doing a lousy job.
I admit I had not given the compromise issue you previously mentioned much thought, your example demonstrating our own checks and balances makes that point much clearer. I have certain personal beliefs concerning this issue with people but they are not testable so scientific analysis could not address them, at any rate I guess that could address why humans lost physical strength but the first step in determining this would be to show that we indeed evolved from apes and as of yet this crucial foundation has not been established.
As far as the issue of why it took as long as it did for mankind to develop agriculture, I concede that this is not a very crucial issue but an interesting one that does not seem to match up well with a supposed 100,000 year existence. I agree about humans being conservative and cautious of risk but the opportunity was present for a very long time, and of the few locations that developed agriculture independently of each other, 2 were close to the supposed location of human origins. In fact the Middle East(one of the places were agriculture was originally developed) was apparently one of the first places besides Africa that was settled, a cave called Hayonim yielded a Complete Homo Sapiens skull and several other bones which are said to be 90,000 years old. Now in fairness large populations and settlement may not have occurred 90,000 years ago but it atleast pointed to the beginnings of settlement, according to this site: http://news.national...neandertal.html
“By 30,000 years ago, humans had occupied most of the Old World…” So as we see the claim by Nat. Geographic is that modern man has occurpied most of the Old World for 30,000 years and judging by the skeletal remains found, the Middle East has likely been occupied for much longer and yet in all that time it has only been the last 5,000(within the range of a creation scenario) in which the risk was taken. Not proof against evolution but quite a nagging question for a 100,000 year age for humanity.

#26 chance

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:00 PM

This is probably too vague of an answer but I read many sources (mostly Creationist) and as of yet I have only read about limited observed changes, examples include: Peppered moths and industrial melanism, Beetles losing their wings on windy islands, Anoles growing shorter hind legs when their habitat was changed, certain species of fish losing their eyesight as an adaptation to life in a cave, bacteria and viruses changing and becoming tolerant to antibiotics and vaccines, insects gaining immunity to pesticides, these are all that come to mind at the moment I am sure there are more but at any rate looking at the examples listed I see some fascinating examples of adaptation and survival but I do not see evolution, at least not the one that allegedly drove the coelacanth or some other lobe finned fish out of the sea to eventually become the ancestor of all land vertebrates, or that transformed scales into feathers and drove small therapods to the sky.


This is a reasonable selection and something not to be unexpected and in accordance with the ToE, but I fear we are headed for a micro macro question.


Is there evidence for this kind of evolution, macroevolution? There may be, I have not read of it and it does not seem to be around as this would be a blow to creationism, but if you know of any sources that will show undeniably that this sort of evolution and not the universally accepted adaptation, microevolution or speciation has been observed or proven in some way I would certainly like to read about it.


macroevolution needs long periods of time, the fossil record is the best evidence for this but will only show the big picture, statisicaly it’s practically impossible to show, less prove, individual lineage, a good link is LINK


You make a good point about what I said concerning natural selection, in retrospect it would make sense for an advantageous trait such as intelligence or speed to be selected and expanded but as has been mentioned before this has not been observed and if gradual evolution is to be believed it is unobservable due to the time required for the development to occur, as of yet this can only be hinted at by fossils and the fossils are doing a lousy job.


Why is it so important that one need to personally observe something before one can accept it? One can deduce things from the evidence, that is science also. I think this is a poor argument technique (I didn’t see it I don’t believe it). The fossil record IMO show a remarkable consistency and is falsifiable for what is found in what layers, and also matches radiometric and other methods of dating.


I admit I had not given the compromise issue you previously mentioned much thought, your example demonstrating our own checks and balances makes that point much clearer. I have certain personal beliefs concerning this issue with people but they are not testable so scientific analysis could not address them, at any rate I guess that could address why humans lost physical strength but the first step in determining this would be to show that we indeed evolved from apes and as of yet this crucial foundation has not been established.


Like any find in the fossil record, our ancestry knowledge is fragmented, but I still think the big picture is clear.


As far as the issue of why it took as long as it did for mankind to develop agriculture, I concede that this is not a very crucial issue but an interesting one that does not seem to match up well with a supposed 100,000 year existence. I agree about humans being conservative and cautious of risk but the opportunity was present for a very long time, and of the few locations that developed agriculture independently of each other, 2 were close to the supposed location of human origins. In fact the Middle East(one of the places were agriculture was originally developed) was apparently one of the first places besides Africa that was settled, a cave called Hayonim yielded a Complete Homo Sapiens skull and several other bones which are said to be 90,000 years old. Now in fairness large populations and settlement may not have occurred 90,000 years ago but it atleast pointed to the beginnings of settlement, according to this site: http://news.national...neandertal.html
“By 30,000 years ago, humans had occupied most of the Old World…” So as we see the claim by Nat. Geographic is that modern man has occurpied most of the Old World for 30,000 years and judging by the skeletal remains found, the Middle East has likely been occupied for much longer and yet in all that time it has only been the last 5,000(within the range of a creation scenario) in which the risk was taken. Not proof against evolution but quite a nagging question for a 100,000 year age for humanity.


I seem to remember that the ending of the last ice age had something to do with it, but it’s likely that a series of events was needed. The interesting thing in my mind is not so much the long time it took to make the break from a nomadic life but the “no turning back” aspect.

#27 Marian

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 01:31 AM

As far as the issue of why it took as long as it did for mankind to develop agriculture, I concede that this is not a very crucial issue but an interesting one that does not seem to match up well with a supposed 100,000 year existence. I agree about humans being conservative and cautious of risk but the opportunity was present for a very long time, and of the few locations that developed agriculture independently of each other, 2 were close to the supposed location of human origins. In fact the Middle East(one of the places were agriculture was originally developed) was apparently one of the first places besides Africa that was settled, a cave called Hayonim yielded a Complete Homo Sapiens skull and several other bones which are said to be 90,000 years old. Now in fairness large populations and settlement may not have occurred 90,000 years ago but it atleast pointed to the beginnings of settlement, according to this site: http://news.national...neandertal.html
“By 30,000 years ago, humans had occupied most of the Old World…” So as we see the claim by Nat. Geographic is that modern man has occurpied most of the Old World for 30,000 years and judging by the skeletal remains found, the Middle East has likely been occupied for much longer and yet in all that time it has only been the last 5,000(within the range of a creation scenario) in which the risk was taken. Not proof against evolution but quite a nagging question for a 100,000 year age for humanity.


Like any find in the fossil record, our ancestry knowledge is fragmented, but I still think the big picture is clear.
I seem to remember that the ending of the last ice age had something to do with it, but it’s likely that a series of events was needed.  The interesting thing in my mind is not so much the long time it took to make the break from a nomadic life but the “no turning back” aspect.

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I was just going to add to what Chance said (this is, like almost everything I'll post, from memory :D) but climate change had a lot to do with it.

You also have after the ice age an interesting thing occur. Those groups which can do agriculture thrive. Hunter/gatherers have a very hard life. Infant mortality is high. Injuries from hunting are severe. The average life expectancy is low.

Farmers have an edge. First, because their food source is something they can actively control and plan for, more infants survive. They also thrive better on the diet of a farmer. So you have healthier children and more of them survive. They also had an edge on life span. It wasn't a tremendous edge as we would consider it today. Going off memory avg. expectancy was something like 30 years for hunters but 38 years for farmers. That's a huge edge.

You can also support a larger group. In fact you need a larger group for a farming society. This has numerous advantages, work is divided, there is more leisure time, there is safety in numbers.

Then you see a massive culture explosion because of these factors:
-More people living together (you need laws to get along. You need to plan, you develop more complex language skills, etc)
-More lesiure time (this allows for time to think and communicate. 'Why?' starts to be asked a lot. Probably you had a more complext religious structure form just because of these questions. Specialists start to develop, since there's enough people to do the work, one person can devote their time to pottery full time, instead of everyone making their own. Another to weaving and so forth).

I'm sure you can go from there and imagine the many things that then develop from this new lifestyle. This didn't exist previously for two main reasons. First, there wasn't a huge need for it. It's not to say that groups didn't starve, some did. But it's difficult to plan agriculture the minute you start to starve. Especially when another option is to pack up and find new hunting grounds. Second the climate wasn't such that they could stay in a location long enough to promote farming, nor was it a climate in which farming would be successful.

Oh another advantage with farming versus hunting, smaller tracts of land could support more poeple. Another huge advantage since you need smaller numbers per square mile if you're hunting game to support people than you do if you're farming and using game only as a supplimental.

And if you look at world culture, there are still tribal groups in modern day which have never made a transition to agriculture. They're still hunter gatherers, and never farmed. They simply had no need to make the transition, hunting was successful for them, and they had no exposure to farming, so they didn't have to deal with competition from more successful farming groups of people, and since they had no need to develop it, didn't learn it from a culture which did have that need.

Anyway hope that provides a little more information. :)

#28 chance

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 01:27 PM

And if you look at world culture, there are still tribal groups in modern day which have never made a transition to agriculture. They're still hunter gatherers, and never farmed. They simply had no need to make the transition, hunting was successful for them, and they had no exposure to farming, so they didn't have to deal with competition from more successful farming groups of people, and since they had no need to develop it, didn't learn it from a culture which did have that need.


An interesting example is the Australian Aborigines, marooned on a large dry continent, with no wild cereal, and poor soil, they never stood a chance to make the transition.

#29 Adrian7

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 06:12 PM

This is a reasonable selection and something not to be unexpected and in accordance with the ToE, but I fear we are headed for a micro macro question.
macroevolution needs long periods of time, the fossil record is the best evidence for this but will only show the big picture, statisicaly it’s practically impossible to show, less prove, individual lineage, a good link is LINK
Why is it so important that one need to personally observe something before one can accept it? One can deduce things from the evidence, that is science also.  I think this is a poor argument technique (I didn’t see it I don’t believe it).    The fossil record IMO show a remarkable consistency and is falsifiable for what is found in what layers, and also matches radiometric and other methods of dating.


Like any find in the fossil record, our ancestry knowledge is fragmented, but I still think the big picture is clear.
I seem to remember that the ending of the last ice age had something to do with it, but it’s likely that a series of events was needed.  The interesting thing in my mind is not so much the long time it took to make the break from a nomadic life but the “no turning back” aspect.

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The link you provided was interesting read, but there were some issues it brought up that did not seem to add up.I may be incorrect but the first section seemed unhelpful, if you replace the word “common descent” with “common design” it still flows smoothly. The point was to establish a foundation for the process of macroevolution as a real occurrence but it seemed as if it just offered an interpretation of genetics based on the belief that macroevolution is solid fact. Also the point about life not deviating from having nucleic acid genetic material could be expected from a common designer as well because under this idea all creatures came from a common source. The main question in my head was: How do similarities and patterns in DNA or in genetic material act as evidence against a designer? This portion did not solve this question for me.
I admit my understanding of section 1.2 may have been limited but it appeared to be arguing that patterns and clear groupings of organisms were indicative of common descent. This may be incorrect but if that is in fact what it was trying to say then again that runs into the problem of distinguishing itself from kinds, how is it that the capability to organize and distinguish, with little error, living creatures from one another show that this is due to evolution and not to created kinds that were purposely grouped into different phyla, orders, families, etc. I find it interesting that the author made it a point to mention that different orders do not crossover and take on the characteristics of others, this is something creationism embraces and which seems to not bode well with macroevolution since this is exactly what needed to happen.
I got lost on sec. 1.3, I am not sure I understood, if you could explain this section that would be great
As far as sec. 1.4, dinosaurs with feathers or feather-like structures are intriguing but one should not jump to conclusions. The discovery of Protoavis texensis produced much controversy but seems to indicate the presences of birds well before these “dino-birds” came about. For more information on arguments against the dino to bird link here are some sites that shed light on the issue:
http://www.hypograph...le.cfm?id=32555
http://www.trueautho...chaeopteryx.htm
I do not know much about the whole reptile-to-mammal concept but here is a site that may help understand opposing arguments:
http://www.trueorigin.org/therapsd.asp
No article on transitional fossils would be complete without mentioning the old ape to man evolution. Despite its inclusion in this article, Australopithecus afarensis does not appear to be quite as good of a foundation for human evolution as it is often held to be, for more insight:
http://www.trueautho...m/cvse/lucy.htm
Also there are issues with the other examples provided, this article deals specifically with KNM-ER 1470:
http://www.trueorigi...g/skull1470.asp
The idea of whale evolution is another issue that is not as solidly founded as it may appear to be.( The legged-sea cow is remarkable however, and I do plan on researching this find more.)
http://www.trueorigin.org/whales.asp
The final issue of the Chronological order of intermediates enters into other issues I am unconvinced by, the supposed old age of the earth and that the geologic layers represent different time periods, but it still is something to consider and I will look into it further.
I agree about science not having to be observed but to an extent, looking at a fossil involves more interpretation, and therefore more subjective analysis, than if one could see the process actually occurring. Interpretations exist besides those that support the theory of evolution and an old age for the earth and they seem well supported as well, this is why fossils as of yet do not push the theory of evolution above an argument for I.D. or creation.
The earth is believed to have been as warm and moist in many areas as today for at least the last 13, 500 years, people are said to have lived in most of the Old World since about 30,000 years ago, you have offered very valid points and this issue has lessened a bit in significance to me but it still remains a peculiarity.
Also the Australian Aborigines do not explain the lack of development among people who lived in suitable areas for many years.
And on I final note I am sorry if this too long and if I used to many links.

#30 chance

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 08:10 PM

The link you provided was interesting read, but there were some issues it brought up that did not seem to add up. I may be incorrect but the first section seemed unhelpful, if you replace the word “common descent” with “common design” it still flows smoothly.


hmmmm ‘common design’ – well common decent is fairly straight forward you can see the historical changes in a given line of ancestry, but common design! Ok, is a whale designed on the plan of a fish or the plan of a mammal? I think I need you to clarify your point as I’m not sure my response is apt.


The point was to establish a foundation for the process of macroevolution as a real occurrence but it seemed as if it just offered an interpretation of genetics based on the belief that macroevolution is solid fact. Also the point about life not deviating from having nucleic acid genetic material could be expected from a common designer as well because under this idea all creatures came from a common source. The main question in my head was: How do similarities and patterns in DNA or in genetic material act as evidence against a designer?


Unless you make assumptions about what a designer should do, i.e. design efficiently, and show originality for different circumstance (admittedly this is from a human perspective of engineering) I don’t think it is ‘evidence’ against design as such. E.g. When looking at the construction of the human eye for instance, one could conclude - “Well that’s a silly bit of design, it would have been far better to use the Bird design which is undisputedly superior”. With common decent, it makes more sense because if you trace the lineages backwards you will find a fork in the road. But I must stress this is looking at design from a human perspective, and strictly speaking one cannot make such a conclusion if one postulates God as the designer as by definition he could have chosen the design on a whim.


This portion did not solve this question for me.
I admit my understanding of section 1.2 may have been limited but it appeared to be arguing that patterns and clear groupings of organisms were indicative of common descent. This may be incorrect but if that is in fact what it was trying to say then again that runs into the problem of distinguishing itself from kinds, how is it that the capability to organize and distinguish, with little error, living creatures from one another show that this is due to evolution and not to created kinds that were purposely grouped into different phyla, orders, families, etc. I find it interesting that the author made it a point to mention that different orders do not crossover and take on the characteristics of others, this is something creationism embraces and which seems to not bode well with macroevolution since this is exactly what needed to happen.


OK, what it is saying is that a distinct feature found in one linage is not found in another, therefore you can conclude they are related in a branching tree of life. E.g. feathers are only found on birds, therefore all birds are more closely related to each other than they are to any other organism (no matter now much they resemble that other organism) e.g. a penguin could be said to resemble an otter (not the best analogy I admit), but even though the look and act similar, a penguin is more closely related to an eagle than an otter.




I got lost on sec. 1.3, I am not sure I understood, if you could explain this section that would be great


Basic prediction of ToE, the tree of life should (will) match the genetic findings, e.g. you place certain groups of animals on the tree of life, there placing should also be consistent with DNA comparisons (else you have made a blunder). Shooting from the hip - I believe the fruit bats have been moved away from the ‘regular’ bats on the tree of life because of this.

As far as sec. 1.4, dinosaurs with feathers or feather-like structures are intriguing but one should not jump to conclusions. The discovery of Protoavis texensis produced much controversy but seems to indicate the presences of birds well before these “dino-birds” came about. For more information on arguments against the dino to bird link here are some sites that shed light on the issue:


One should not jump to conclusions I agree, but I think the evidence is strong enough, while Archaeopteryx may or may not be the direct bird ancestor, it could still be a ‘cousin’ or the extinct direct ancestor, either will fit. The fossil record does not hinge on finding the exact ancestor, that may never happen.

I’ll look at the links and your other comments later.

#31 chance

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 10:09 PM

Adrian7I didn’t realise you had posted so many links on such varied topics. As each of these deserve an explanation in it’s own right I suggest bumping an existing discussion (I’m sure there is one on Whales for instance), or starting a new topic. The age of the earth even has it’s own segregated topics.

So I shall confine my reply to the comments outside of this quote box

chance> topics for consideration of a separate discussion

http://www.hypograph...le.cfm?id=32555

http://www.trueautho...chaeopteryx.htm

I do not know much about the whole reptile-to-mammal concept but here is a site that may help understand opposing arguments:
http://www.trueorigin.org/therapsd.asp

No article on transitional fossils would be complete without mentioning the old ape to man evolution. Despite its inclusion in this article, Australopithecus afarensis does not appear to be quite as good of a foundation for human evolution as it is often held to be, for more insight:
http://www.trueautho...m/cvse/lucy.htm

Also there are issues with the other examples provided, this article deals specifically with KNM-ER 1470:
http://www.trueorigi...g/skull1470.asp

The idea of whale evolution is another issue that is not as solidly founded as it may appear to be.( The legged-sea cow is remarkable however, and I do plan on researching this find more.)
http://www.trueorigin.org/whales.asp

The final issue of the Chronological order of intermediates enters into other issues I am unconvinced by, the supposed old age of the earth and that the geologic layers represent different time periods, but it still is something to consider and I will look into it further.



I agree about science not having to be observed but to an extent, looking at a fossil involves more interpretation, and therefore more subjective analysis, than if one could see the process actually occurring.


Nothing really wrong with ‘interpretation’ provided there is consistency and the interpretation has some justification, you are however limited in what you can claim as fact, theory, proof etc.

Interpretations exist besides those that support the theory of evolution and an old age for the earth and they seem well supported as well, this is why fossils as of yet do not push the theory of evolution above an argument for I.D. or creation.


I would have to disagree with this, evolution is strongly supported by the evidence, and ID has no theory nor even a testable hypothesis. Opposition to evolution and old earth has yet to make it into main stream science, mainly for lack of original research.

The earth is believed to have been as warm and moist in many areas as today for at least the last 13, 500 years, people are said to have lived in most of the Old World since about 30,000 years ago, you have offered very valid points and this issue has lessened a bit in significance to me but it still remains a peculiarity.


And to myself as well, our early social progress is fragmentary.

Also the Australian Aborigines do not explain the lack of development among people who lived in suitable areas for many years.


Agreed.

#32 egress

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 03:18 AM

Regarding the development of civilizations and the amount of time it took, I submit that this is not actually all that surprising. As difficult as nomadic living is, a fully agricultural lifestyle entails some significant risks as well.

Keep in mind that for most of our history, population density was low enough that farming was unnecessary, if not foolish. Producing the large families needed to plant and harvest crops, as well as the requisite terrain modification, would be difficult to attain quickly, and pointless unless a good crop could be assured. Assuring a good crop requires experimentation, which understandably is difficult for nomadic foragers. Besides that barrier, which is surely significant, fully agricultural societies must supply themselves with all their food groups, build shelters that can withstand the weather conditions of every season of their area, and possibly support a complex bureaucracy (should irrigation be necessary). Most frightening, as a farmer you need control of land, which means you need to keep other people off it. Which means you need an army.

So it's unlikely that hunter/gatherers suddenly switched from foraging to farming. Instead, there was probably a very long period of kind of abandonment gardening. Leaving a few fruits and nuts to growin a latrine and returning to them a few seasons later would have significantly less risk than attempting a wacky new form of sustenance development. In fact, abandoning, or even modifying, the traditions of food gathering that had kept your ancestors alive for thousands of years would probably seem pretty foolish.

One other factor that I'd like to mention, as it pertains to the evolution paradigm. Wild wheat is quite different from cultivated wheat. It has far less nutritional value and, most importantly, it is genetically programmed to burst so that the seeds become scattered by the wind, thus allowing the plant to spread its descendents as far afield as possible. This is obviously not very conducive to farming, and sure enough the seeds of domesticated wheat tend to drop off the plant and scatter on the ground, making them much easier to collect.

From an evolutionary standpoint, the statement, "humans took 90,000 years to cultivate wheat" is equally true as the statement "wheat took 90,000 years to cultivate humans." From the plant's perspective, once we began farming, the plant was just as reliant on us to spread its genes as we were on it to spread ours.

This explains why no domesticated acorn was produced by the Native Americans (as explained by Jared Diamond in his book Guns, Germs, and Steel, from which much of this is cribbed). Native Americans attempting to domesticate the oak tree would have selected for sweetness and against acidity, as leeching the acid out of acorn flour was an extremely difficult and lengthy process. Lower acidic acorns do exist, but the oak tree had already been domesticated by another animal who was far more effective than humans could be at spreading its genes: the wiley squirrel.

#33 Adrian7

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 12:53 AM

hmmmm ‘common design’ – well common decent is fairly straight forward you can see the historical changes in a given line of ancestry, but common design!   Ok, is a whale designed on the plan of a fish or the plan of a mammal?  I think I need you to clarify your point as I’m not sure my response is apt.
Unless you make assumptions about what a designer should do, i.e. design efficiently, and show originality for different circumstance (admittedly this is from a human perspective of engineering) I don’t think it is ‘evidence’ against design as such.  E.g. When looking at the construction of the human eye for instance, one could conclude - “Well that’s a silly bit of design, it would have been far better to use the Bird design which is undisputedly superior”.   With common decent, it makes more sense because if you trace the lineages backwards you will find a fork in the road.  But I must stress this is looking at design from a human perspective, and strictly speaking one cannot make such a conclusion if one postulates God as the designer as by definition he could have chosen the design on a whim.
OK, what it is saying is that a distinct feature found in one linage is not found in another, therefore you can conclude they are related in a branching tree of life.   E.g. feathers are only found on birds, therefore all birds are more closely related to each other than they are to any other organism (no matter now much they resemble that other organism) e.g. a penguin could be said to resemble an otter (not the best analogy I admit), but even though the look and act similar, a penguin is more closely related to an eagle than an otter.
Basic prediction of ToE, the tree of life should (will) match the genetic findings, e.g. you place certain groups of animals on the tree of life, there placing should also be consistent with DNA comparisons (else you have made a blunder).  Shooting from the hip  - I believe the fruit bats have been moved away from the ‘regular’ bats on the tree of life because of this.
One should not jump to conclusions I agree, but I think the evidence is strong enough, while Archaeopteryx may or may not be the direct bird ancestor, it could still be a ‘cousin’ or the extinct direct ancestor, either will fit.  The fossil record does not hinge on finding the exact ancestor, that may never happen. 

I’ll look at the links and your other comments later.

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The fossil record does not provide a clear and detailed picture of descent for any creature, there are some (whales, birds, humans) that seem to have more “support” or speculation surrounding their ancestry based on several specimens found that seem intermediate but this is still under debate and criticism, even within those who have the same beliefs. I am sorry for my inadequate explanation of when I stated that the article’s use of the word “common descent” could be replaced by “common design,” what I meant to say was that the evidences they used, mostly similarity of DNA among all living creatures and similar genetic coding within Phyla, is also something that seems to match up with a creator using an efficient method of “information” storage as a basic tool in creating diverse, related and unrelated life forms. This analogy may seem trivial maybe even inappropriate but I will give it a shot: we have many different types of vehicles: cars, trucks, vans, tanks, trains, motorcycles, etc. Each can be similar but are often quite different in size, shape, and to some extent function but each rely on the same basic tool, the wheel (varies in #), because it is a good design for terrestrial locomotion. I can not prove that DNA has a creator like I could prove that a wheel and vehicle have a creator(s) but like a wheel, universal usage of DNA by all life forms seems to suggest a creator implementing it as a good basic tool by which diverse varied creatures could be built around. As far as the whale goes I would say(and this is personal off the top of my head) it is planned on the design according to habitat which led to it having similar design features to fish, like DNA but more specifically, being streamlined, having a long, powerful fluked tale and fins are a good basic design which could be built on further and in this case into two very different kinds of creatures.

Nothing really wrong with ‘interpretation’ provided there is consistency and the interpretation has some justification, you are however limited in what you can claim as fact, theory, proof etc.

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I agree

I would have to disagree with this, evolution is strongly supported by the evidence, and ID has no theory nor even a testable hypothesis.  Opposition to evolution and old earth has yet to make it into main stream science, mainly for lack of original research.

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But what is the evidence? We have both conceded that the fossil record is nowhere near completely understood and does not yield transitional forms except for the few that are strongly disputed, and evolution, especially macro, can not be observed. I agreed earlier that observation may not necessarily be that important but in light of little support from the fossils it does seem to be of some importance. As far as I.D. having no theory or testable hypothesis you may be right I don’t know much about that, but in some respects it uses similar techniques that Evolutionists use such as analyzing fossil and current life forms which is interpreted to indicate the existence of a creator(s) (depending on what one believes). The lack of much opposition in mainstream science to evolution and an old earth is a valid point but that does not disqualify the validity of those who do oppose since they rely on similar and valid scientific tests and analysis to arrive at their arguments.

#34 Adrian7

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 01:52 AM

Regarding the development of civilizations and the amount of time it took, I submit that this is not actually all that surprising.  As difficult as nomadic living is, a fully agricultural lifestyle entails some significant risks as well.

Keep in mind that for most of our history, population density was low enough that farming was unnecessary, if not foolish.  Producing the large families needed to plant and harvest crops, as well as the requisite terrain modification, would be difficult to attain quickly, and pointless unless a good crop could be assured.  Assuring a good crop requires experimentation, which understandably is difficult for nomadic foragers.  Besides that barrier, which is surely significant, fully agricultural societies must supply themselves with all their food groups, build shelters that can withstand the weather conditions of every season of their area, and possibly support a complex bureaucracy (should irrigation be necessary).  Most frightening, as a farmer you need control of land, which means you need to keep other people off it.  Which means you need an army.

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But if we take a look at the areas that did develop agriculture it seems to suggest that environmental opportunity determined the people’s lifestyle. An example are the Khoisan speaking people of Southern Africa (often pejoratively called “Bushmen” and “Hottentots”) we see that there were, prior to European colonization, two main lifestyles, those that lived in deserts were hunter-gathers as food was scarcer but those who lived in savanna/grassland areas were cattle herders, this shows that the environment shaped these people’s way of life which is significant since people are said to have lived in fertile areas such as the Middle East(M.E.) and the Nile Valley(N.V.) for at least 30,000 years yet agriculture is only known from these areas from 5,000 years ago a sixth of that time. To be fair I will factor in the ice age in which the earth is said to have attained its current warmth and moistness at least 13,500 years ago in most areas including the M.E and N.V. yet people are said to have taken almost 2/3 of that time to figure out the advantage of growing their own food.

So it's unlikely that hunter/gatherers suddenly switched from foraging to farming.  Instead, there was probably a very long period of kind of abandonment gardening.  Leaving a few fruits and nuts to growin a latrine and returning to them a few seasons later would have significantly less risk than attempting a wacky new form of sustenance development.  In fact, abandoning, or even modifying, the traditions of food gathering that had kept your ancestors alive for thousands of years would probably seem pretty foolish.

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As I have mentioned before I concede that such a transition is risky and would have been handled with caution but how long would it take for them to determine that farming was efficient or at least better than hunting and gathering especially in places that natural grew plants were eaten then and are still used now. 95,000 years or 8,500(if you want to go from the ice age) seems unreasonable since many plants grow in seasons and such an “experiment” could be tried within a relatively short amount of time. Also in those areas where choice crops grew naturally an experiment in farming could have been conducted without too much damage to the crops growing wild.

One other factor that I'd like to mention, as it pertains to the evolution paradigm.  Wild wheat is quite different from cultivated wheat.  It has far less nutritional value and, most importantly, it is genetically programmed to burst so that the seeds become scattered by the wind, thus allowing the plant to spread its descendents as far afield as possible.  This is obviously not very conducive to farming, and sure enough the seeds of domesticated wheat tend to drop off the plant and scatter on the ground, making them much easier to collect.
From an evolutionary standpoint, the statement, "humans took 90,000 years to cultivate wheat" is equally true as the statement "wheat took 90,000 years to cultivate humans."  From the plant's perspective, once we began farming, the plant was just as reliant on us to spread its genes as we were on it to spread ours.

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With such a contrast between wild wheat and domesticated wheat I wonder how wheat changed and was “tamed” effectively if farming did really occur over many years in small steps. The fact that domesticated wheat differs from wild wheat as much as it does suggests careful, selective breeding of these plants which does not fit too well with an overly cautious, small band of people who only occasionally planted and checked on what they planted.

This explains why no domesticated acorn was produced by the Native Americans (as explained by Jared Diamond in his book Guns, Germs, and Steel, from which much of this is cribbed).  Native Americans attempting to domesticate the oak tree would have selected for sweetness and against acidity, as leeching the acid out of acorn flour was an extremely difficult and lengthy process.  Lower acidic acorns do exist, but the oak tree had already been domesticated by another animal who was far more effective than humans could be at spreading its genes: the wiley squirrel.

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sounds reasonable

#35 lwj2op2

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 04:23 PM

Regarding the development of civilizations and the amount of time it took, I submit that this is not actually all that surprising.  As difficult as nomadic living is, a fully agricultural lifestyle entails some significant risks as well.
Keep in mind that for most of our history, population density was low enough that farming was unnecessary, if not foolish.


Unless our history is only 5000 years.

  Producing the large families needed to plant and harvest crops, as well as the requisite terrain modification, would be difficult to attain quickly, and pointless unless a good crop could be assured.


Which, for about 2500 years been possible

Assuring a good crop requires experimentation,


Unless somebody was there to teach the first Man. God walked with Adam daily.

which understandably is difficult for nomadic foragers.  Besides that barrier, which is surely significant, fully agricultural societies must supply themselves with all their food groups, build shelters that can withstand the weather conditions of every season of their area, and possibly support a complex bureaucracy (should irrigation be necessary).


Which has been happening for about 2500 years

  Most frightening, as a farmer you need control of land, which means you need to keep other people off it.  Which means you need an army.


Which there have been for about 2500 years

So it's unlikely that hunter/gatherers suddenly switched from foraging to farming.  Instead, there was probably a very long period of kind of abandonment gardening. 


Another possibilty is; hunter/gatherers were the exception, and most people have always farmed.

For Leaving a few fruits and nuts to growin a latrine and returning to them a few seasons later would have significantly less risk than attempting a wacky new form of sustenance development.  In fact, abandoning, or even modifying, the traditions of food gathering that had kept your ancestors alive for thousands of years would probably seem pretty foolish.


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Unless this was already the norm and the "wacky" ones were the hunter/gatherers. Biblical history fits the available facts.

#36 chance

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 03:03 PM

The fossil record does not provide a clear and detailed picture of descent for any creature, there are some (whales, birds, humans) that seem to have more “support” or speculation surrounding their ancestry based on several specimens found that seem intermediate but this is still under debate and criticism, even within those who have the same beliefs.


Agreed, good old scientific scepticism is what fuel debate and better understanding.


am sorry for my inadequate explanation of when I stated that the article’s use of the word “common descent” could be replaced by “common design,” what I meant to say was that the evidences they used, mostly similarity of DNA among all living creatures and similar genetic coding within Phyla, is also something that seems to match up with a creator using an efficient method of “information” storage as a basic tool in creating diverse, related and unrelated life forms. This analogy may seem trivial maybe even inappropriate but I will give it a shot: we have many different types of vehicles: cars, trucks, vans, tanks, trains, motorcycles, etc. Each can be similar but are often quite different in size, shape, and to some extent function but each rely on the same basic tool, the wheel (varies in #), because it is a good design for terrestrial locomotion.


OK now I understand, i.e. that only DNA is the “design tool” not specific combinations of the DNA like ABC for lizards XYZ for mammals etc (the alphabet is the “design tool”).


I can not prove that DNA has a creator like I could prove that a wheel and vehicle have a creator(s) but like a wheel, universal usage of DNA by all life forms seems to suggest a creator implementing it as a good basic tool by which diverse varied creatures could be built around.


The philosophic problem with this line of reasoning (it a version of God of the gaps) is that historically science chips away at that area of knowledge reserved for God, i.e. there is no real obstruction for science not to fully understand the Gnome using fully naturalist means, eventually.


As far as the whale goes I would say(and this is personal off the top of my head) it is planned on the design according to habitat which led to it having similar design features to fish, like DNA but more specifically, being streamlined, having a long, powerful fluked tale and fins are a good basic design which could be built on further and in this case into two very different kinds of creatures.


Interesting perspective. With few exceptions evolution gives the appearance of design, as noted before Darwin “life appeared to be designed to fit the environment”, which is the intuitive perspective and possibly why it took so long to come up with an alternate explination (caused by discoveries in the fossil record and geology in general).


I would have to disagree with this, evolution is strongly supported by the evidence, and ID has no theory nor even a testable hypothesis.  Opposition to evolution and old earth has yet to make it into main stream science, mainly for lack of original research.

But what is the evidence? We have both conceded that the fossil record is nowhere near completely understood and does not yield transitional forms except for the few that are strongly disputed, and evolution, especially macro, can not be observed. I agreed earlier that observation may not necessarily be that important but in light of little support from the fossils it does seem to be of some importance. As far as I.D. having no theory or testable hypothesis you may be right I don’t know much about that, but in some respects it uses similar techniques that Evolutionists use such as analyzing fossil and current life forms which is interpreted to indicate the existence of a creator(s) (depending on what one believes). The lack of much opposition in mainstream science to evolution and an old earth is a valid point but that does not disqualify the validity of those who do oppose since they rely on similar and valid scientific tests and analysis to arrive at their arguments.


IMO:
a. finding transitional’s (such as they are) is not crucial to the ToE.
b. Evolution can be observed in the laboratory (but you call it micro and a loss of information).
c. opposition to current thinking is encouraged, and each claim must be judged on the evidence, the scientific community police that aspect and we are doing a subset of that in a public forum. All I can suggest is that each claim bee investigated in detail, this is where it uncovers the deficiencies in the YEC or ID objections.

#37 Adrian7

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 04:08 PM

Agreed, good old scientific scepticism is what fuel debate and better understanding.

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I second that.

OK now I understand, i.e. that only DNA is the “design tool” not specific combinations of the DNA like ABC for lizards XYZ for mammals etc (the alphabet is the “design tool”).
The philosophic problem with this line of reasoning (it a version of God of the gaps) is that historically science chips away at that area of knowledge reserved for God, i.e. there is no real obstruction for science not to fully understand the Gnome using fully naturalist means, eventually.

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Well I don’t know how exactly to respond, I would have to say I await that time when such an understanding is achieved, if it can ever be reached.

Interesting perspective.  With few exceptions evolution gives the appearance of design, as noted before Darwin “life appeared to be designed to fit the environment”, which is the intuitive perspective and possibly why it took so long to come up with an alternate explination (caused by discoveries in the fossil record and geology in general).

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This matter of evolution giving the appearance of design makes the matter more difficult and evidence more crucial, hopefully further discoveries will shed more light on the likely hood of a creator or nature as a creative force.

IMO:
a. finding transitional’s (such as they are) is not crucial to the ToE.
b. Evolution can be observed in the laboratory (but you call it micro and a loss of information).
c. opposition to current thinking is encouraged, and each claim must be judged on the evidence, the scientific community police that aspect and we are doing a subset of that in a public forum.  All I can suggest is that each claim bee investigated in detail, this is where it uncovers the deficiencies in the YEC or ID objections.

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I am not certain why you do not consider transitionals(or their undiscovered status) as crucial evidence, but I am certain you have your reasons. Evolution can indeed be observed but not the kind that changes one kind of animal into another(Was this sentence really necessary. :P ). Well I agree with your view as to how all claims should be handled but unfortunately it does not always happen that way, also, if you could, how is it that ID and YEC claim deficiencies are uncovered?

#38 chance

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 07:34 PM

OK now I understand, i.e. that only DNA is the “design tool” not specific combinations of the DNA like ABC for lizards XYZ for mammals etc (the alphabet is the “design tool”).
The philosophic problem with this line of reasoning (it a version of God of the gaps) is that historically science chips away at that area of knowledge reserved for God, i.e. there is no real obstruction for science not to fully understand the Gnome using fully naturalist means, eventually.


Well I don’t know how exactly to respond, I would have to say I await that time when such an understanding is achieved, if it can ever be reached.


As do we all. I suppose I included this as to head of arguments along the lines of, “you have no explanation for X thus you cant prove evolution”. Some things as you have suggested may never be known, e.g. Abiogenesis is almost certainly to fall into that category. Science sometimes has to rely on circumstantial evidence and thus it’s only claim can be “we are uncertain of the exact process, but it could have happened this way …”


Interesting perspective.  With few exceptions evolution gives the appearance of design, as noted before Darwin “life appeared to be designed to fit the environment”, which is the intuitive perspective and possibly why it took so long to come up with an alternate explanation (caused by discoveries in the fossil record and geology in general).

This matter of evolution giving the appearance of design makes the matter more difficult and evidence more crucial, hopefully further discoveries will shed more light on the likely hood of a creator or nature as a creative force.


The difficulty with design is in ‘what is the design’? that can be very subjective, as I mentioned with the whale (is it a fish or mammal design) logical what will follow is criticism of the design, e.g. why design an aquatic creature with a need to breath air? IMO the design can’t be known.


IMO:
a. finding transitional’s (such as they are) is not crucial to the ToE.
b. Evolution can be observed in the laboratory (but you call it micro and a loss of information).
c. opposition to current thinking is encouraged, and each claim must be judged on the evidence, the scientific community police that aspect and we are doing a subset of that in a public forum.  All I can suggest is that each claim bee investigated in detail, this is where it uncovers the deficiencies in the YEC or ID objections.

I am not certain why you do not consider transitionals (or their undiscovered status) as crucial evidence, but I am certain you have your reasons.


let me put it this way, they are nice to have if you find them, but not crucial in proving the ToE. The difficulty is in proving some find is transitional between what? E.g. Archaeopteryx, is not considered to be the direct ancestor of modern birds, yet is qualifies as transitional based on similarities between reptiles and birds. The difficulty is because of the branching nature of common decent (it really is like the branches of a tree), so if you are trying to find the ancestor of a bird (a leaf on the tip of the tree), Archaeopteryx is far more likely to be a on a lower off shooting branch than part of the branch (hope that’s clear).


Evolution can indeed be observed but not the kind that changes one kind of animal into another(Was this sentence really necessary.  ).


Indeed, evolution requires that change is gradual, cant ever have a frog give birth to a lizard.


<snip>  also, if you could, how is it that ID and YEC claim deficiencies are uncovered?


Not sure I understand the question, are you asking how an ID or YEC claim is refuted, e.g. You can’t rely on the fossil record because evolutionists are always extending the time period of the fossil (stratigraphic range extension) – this one is refuted on a basic logical fallacy.

#39 egress

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 10:05 AM

But if we take a look at the areas that did develop agriculture it seems to suggest that environmental opportunity determined the people’s lifestyle. An example are the Khoisan speaking people of Southern Africa (often pejoratively called “Bushmen” and “Hottentots”) we see that there were, prior to European colonization, two main lifestyles, those that lived in deserts were hunter-gathers as food was scarcer but those who lived in savanna/grassland areas were cattle herders, this shows that the environment shaped these people’s way of life which is significant since people are said to have lived in fertile areas such as the Middle East(M.E.) and the Nile Valley(N.V.) for at least 30,000 years yet agriculture is only known from these areas from 5,000 years ago a sixth of that time. To be fair I will factor in the ice age in which the earth is said to have attained its current warmth and moistness at least 13,500 years ago in most areas including the M.E and N.V. yet people are said to have taken almost 2/3 of that time to figure out the advantage of growing their own food.


Actually, going from hunting and gathering to agriculture in a fertile area would be even less desirable, as the natural bounty of the place would already supply for a decent sized population without significant modifications.


As I have mentioned before I concede that such a transition is risky and would have been handled with caution but how long would it take for them to determine that farming was efficient or at least better than hunting and gathering especially in places that natural grew plants were eaten then and are still used now. 95,000 years or 8,500(if you want to go from the ice age) seems unreasonable since many plants grow in seasons and such an “experiment” could be tried within a relatively short amount of time. Also in those areas where choice crops grew naturally an experiment in farming could have been conducted without too much damage to the crops growing wild.


you're assuming that farming is an adavtange for them. Agriculture comes with many costs and many risks. An entire culture could be wiped out by a bad harvest, for one. The transition was probably very gradual, with hunting and gathering being supplemented by small gardens of crops chosen for durability that could be abandoned when the group moved on and returned to when it came back through the next year.

As to how difficult those experiments might have been to conduct, I submit they would have been extremely difficult. Keep in mind there are no farmers. In fact, nobody has even made the connection between seeds and plants. What are these seeds? Why do they stick in your teeth so? How and when the connection was made I don't know, but even once it was made, getting those seeds to grow reliably and abundantly year after year, enough to provide for everyone in the tribe and require less effort than hunting and gathering would be a process that would have taken many, many generations and many, many growing seasons, requiring many associate technologies, such as plows and building techniques to create permanent structures for homes, storage, and protection from raiders. Think of the amount of time it took an abacus to become a graphing calculator to become a computer.

And, of course, these are humans we're talking about. Change does not always come easily to us.

With such a contrast between wild wheat and domesticated wheat I wonder how wheat changed and was “tamed” effectively if farming did really occur over many years in small steps. The fact that domesticated wheat differs from wild wheat as much as it does suggests careful, selective breeding of these plants which does not fit too well with an overly cautious, small band of people who only occasionally planted and checked on what they planted.


I agree. Wheat probably wasn't one of the first crops to be harvested.




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