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#1 ModusTollens

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 09:53 AM

This is something I wonder about...in the world view of a YE Creationist, what exactly are the non-Homo sapiens hominid species? Do you see them as simple hoaxes? Do you see them as completely separate from us? I just wonder...I am an anthropologist, and I've held in my hands the skulls of (in chronological order) Ardipithicus ramidus, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Paranthopus boseii, Paranthopus robustus, Homo habilis, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, and the early modern Homo sapiens, such as Homo sapiens neandertalensis.

I'm not asking for any sort of evidence concerning why you feel the way you do, I'd just like to know what place they hold in the universe that you see before you.

As for me, looking into the eyes of an ergaster or an erectus skull is a chilling experience. It is by no means part of the reason I accept evolution, but I can just see...humanity...staring back out of the eye sockets. I can look at the sutures on the skull and tell the age of death exactly as I can with a modern skeleton, I can look at the teeth and see the exact same wear patterns that occur in skeletons I've examined who died less than a year ago. I just...see a human life unfolding before my eyes. And I know not many people get to actually hold these fossils in their hands, but I just wanted to know what you think of them.

#2 jason777

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 10:11 AM

This is something I wonder about...in the world view of a YE Creationist, what exactly are the non-Homo sapiens hominid species?  Do you see them as simple hoaxes?  Do you see them as completely separate from us?  I just wonder...I am an anthropologist, and I've held in my hands the skulls of (in chronological order) Ardipithicus ramidus, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Paranthopus boseii, Paranthopus robustus, Homo habilis, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, and the early modern Homo sapiens, such as Homo sapiens neandertalensis.

I'm not asking for any sort of evidence concerning why you feel the way you do, I'd just like to know what place they hold in the universe that you see before you. 

As for me, looking into the eyes of an ergaster or an erectus skull is a chilling experience.  It is by no means part of the reason I accept evolution, but I can just see...humanity...staring back out of the eye sockets.  I can look at the sutures on the skull and tell the age of death exactly as I can with a modern skeleton, I can look at the teeth and see the exact same wear patterns that occur in skeletons I've examined who died less than a year ago.  I just...see a human life unfolding before my eyes.  And I know not many people get to actually hold these fossils in their hands, but I just wanted to know what you think of them.

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Being educated about these fossils, how much do you know about them? Is a 99.9-99.5% genetic similarity definitively human? Then neanderthal certainly is human and H. erectus and H. ergaster is nothing more than a size variation according to it's morphology without a gene sequence to compare. Even The habilines are large sized Australopiticines and smaller than average H. erectus fossils, which means it isn't even a valid taxon. All of the Australopiticine fossils are either aligned with orangutans or gorillas and have nothing to do with chimps or humans.

http://www.physorg.c...s164508477.html

http://www.pnas.org/...04/16/6568.full

Since we know neanderthal is certainly human, then we would have to ask why is cro magnon so different. Cro magnon fossils have been associated with fishing hooks and harpoons, which means they had plenty of vitamin D in their diet. So, the difference would be pathelogical not genetic.


Enjoy.

#3 Mike Summers

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 10:48 AM

This is something I wonder about...in the world view of a YE Creationist, what exactly are the non-Homo sapiens hominid species?  Do you see them as simple hoaxes?  Do you see them as completely separate from us?  I just wonder...I am an anthropologist, and I've held in my hands the skulls of (in chronological order) Ardipithicus ramidus, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Paranthopus boseii, Paranthopus robustus, Homo habilis, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, and the early modern Homo sapiens, such as Homo sapiens neandertalensis.

I'm not asking for any sort of evidence concerning why you feel the way you do, I'd just like to know what place they hold in the universe that you see before you. 

As for me, looking into the eyes of an ergaster or an erectus skull is a chilling experience.  It is by no means part of the reason I accept evolution, but I can just see...humanity...staring back out of the eye sockets.  I can look at the sutures on the skull and tell the age of death exactly as I can with a modern skeleton, I can look at the teeth and see the exact same wear patterns that occur in skeletons I've examined who died less than a year ago.  I just...see a human life unfolding before my eyes.  And I know not many people get to actually hold these fossils in their hands, but I just wanted to know what you think of them.

View Post


Hi. I don’t disagree with the other posts. But here is my three cents worth (inflation).
I find it difficult to imagine how you “read” so much into a dead skull. I personally have a rock which I also think is dead. What’s the difference between seeing humanity in a rock or a skull? They both are mute. 

Now back to animals and apes that are alive and we can observe. They do look similar but, the output of a human vs. a chimp or ape  is vastly different even though their skulls mayabe similar. How could you possibly know by looking at a skull how “human like”  it was because cannot observe it alive?  They call that in psychology projection, in poetry personification, in the Bible idolatry and in science, unscientific. I personally call it a vivid imagination.

#4 ModusTollens

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:10 AM

Hi. I don’t disagree with the other posts. But here is my three cents worth (inflation).
I find it difficult to imagine how you “read” so much into a dead skull. I personally have a rock which I also think is dead. What’s the difference between seeing humanity in a rock or a skull? They both are mute. 

Now back to animals and apes that are alive and we can observe.  They do look similar but, the output of a human vs. a chimp or ape  is vastly different even though their skulls mayabe similar. How could you possibly know by looking at a skull how “human like”  it was because cannot observe it alive?  They call that in psychology projection, in poetry personification, in the Bible idolatry and in science, unscientific. I personally call it a vivid imagination.

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Oh, your point is both fair and correct (that is why I qualified that this is not part of my reasoning in finding evolution valid). And of course, something looking human doesn't make it human...there are mountain tops on Mars that sort of look human...I just was adding my own (in this case admittedly very unscientific) two cents in about the skulls. I do get that sensation, and that doesn't fundamentally mean that the sensation has any legitimate basis or that it proves anything. Just wanted to put it out there on this topic, because this is perhaps the only topic in which such a feeling is remotely valid (as I'm just asking for opinions as to where these fossils fit into the world view).

#5 performedge

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:33 AM

As for me, looking into the eyes of an ergaster or an erectus skull is a chilling experience.  It is by no means part of the reason I accept evolution, but I can just see...humanity...staring back out of the eye sockets.  I can look at the sutures on the skull and tell the age of death exactly as I can with a modern skeleton, I can look at the teeth and see the exact same wear patterns that occur in skeletons I've examined who died less than a year ago.  I just...see a human life unfolding before my eyes.  And I know not many people get to actually hold these fossils in their hands, but I just wanted to know what you think of them.

View Post


Interesting comments. Can I ask you, When you look into the eyes of a mole. Do you also get chills? Can you see humanity staring back at you? When you look into the eyes of a fish? How about when you look into the eyes of a microscope at at a bacteria cell? Do you see humanity staring back at you?

Do you see where I am going? Where is it, that you no longer see humanity?

Just some things to think about.

#6 Ron

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 12:03 PM

As for me, looking into the eyes of an ergaster or an erectus skull is a chilling experience. 

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Don't you really mean "looking in the eye sockets of a lifeless skull" of that of which you have no actual empirical evidence as to what the creatures looked like, acted like, or supposedly thought like?

Are you not actually taking a massive amount of faith, and superimposing it onto some fossils and calling it "science"?

#7 ModusTollens

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 12:03 PM

Being educated about these fossils, how much do you know about them? Is a 99.9-99.5% genetic similarity definitively human? Then neanderthal certainly is human and H. erectus and H. ergaster is nothing more than a size variation according to it's morphology without a gene sequence to compare. Even  The habilines are large sized Australopiticines and smaller than average H. erectus fossils, which means it isn't even a valid taxon. All of the Australopiticine fossils are either aligned with orangutans or gorillas and have nothing to do with chimps or humans.

http://www.physorg.c...s164508477.html

http://www.pnas.org/...04/16/6568.full

Since we know neanderthal is certainly human, then we would have to ask why is cro magnon so different. Cro magnon fossils have been associated with fishing hooks and harpoons, which means they had plenty of vitamin D in their diet. So, the difference would be pathelogical not genetic.
Enjoy.

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Interesting. I don't wish to argue at all, as I was asking for opinions only, but I suspect that you will find this interesting, given your response, so I will merely present anthropology's current views and definitions, without espousing them as definitively true. :lol:

First, dividing these animals into different taxa, as you rightly point out, is quite difficult, and there is lots of squabbling about it within anthropology: we argue about whether Paranthropus is its own genus or if it is part of Australopithecus, we argue as to whether habilis should really be Aust. or Homo, and we argue (quite intensly) over whether neandertaliensis is its own species or a sub-species. However, the reason we do differentiate them at all is because of bodily morphology and brain size. Australopithecus is a bit like an erect ape, with an ape-sized brain of ~450cc. Paranthropus is heavier-framed and very slightly taller with thicker jaws, but with the same ~450cc brain that modern chimpanzees share. The post-cranial skeleton of Homo(?) habilis is identical to that of an A. africanus; indeed, when we don't find skulls, we absolutely cannot tell them apart. The brain of habilis is nearly twice as large, however, averaging ~720cc (this is the first increase in cranial capacity that occurs, and that is why habilis is so often grouped with Homo in spite of their australopithicine post-cranial skeleton...they straddle the line between Australopithecus and Homo so fundamentally that we just can't tell) Ergaster is represents the final major change in the post-cranial skeleton, with much shorter (proportionately) arms and a hairless, modern-statured body built for running rather than walking...an ergaster wearing a hood would not be detected if you saw him/her riding the bus near you. Their brains were about 850cc, and the new cranial expansion was all in the areas directly related to speech, so they could talk, but because of the shape of their cranium (long rather than tall like ours) and the vocal tract, they would have been capable only of the sorts of sounds that our toddlers make, but at a deeper register. Erectus looked just like ergaster, but had a brain of ~1150cc, still increasing the verbal areas of the brain. Homo sapiens are more gracile than ergaster or erectus, our bones are not as thick as theirs, and our musculature is weaker (their long bones are slightly warped because their muscles pulled on them so hard), and our brains average a whopping ~1350cc, with expansion again occuring in the speech centers. And our skulls (with the exception of neandertals) shifted to be oriented from the top to the bottom rather than from from front to back. Now, we don't know what would have happened if a sapiens had actually bred with an ergaster, so we can only take educated guesses at where the species lines lie; we simply do the best we can.

As for the articles you posted...they are certainly interesting. As for the Australopithicine jaw, that's surprising, and I have some questions about it, but they seem to be saying that H. sapiens didn't come from Au. Australopithecus. Well, no one thinks that is the case. Anthropologists currently hold that we came form Au. africanus, which we think probably held a cousin-like relationship to afarensis. So it would still be surprising if afarensis weren't related.

#8 Isabella

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 05:15 PM

Hi Modus,

I started a very similar thread awhile back, and got some interesting replies. You should take a look:

http://www.evolution...wtopic=3233&hl=

#9 The Ark

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 08:15 PM

Hi Modus,

I started a very similar thread awhile back, and got some interesting replies. You should take a look:

http://www.evolution...wtopic=3233&hl=

View Post


Plenty to read on that thread.

In my opinion the problem with te science of evolution is it is so involved within political and "God" debate.

I believe in the basics of evolution but I differ in one area to what is normally presented under the evolution umbrella. I have posted that view on two atheist forums and the atheists come in like a swarm of bees to attack and the attack keeps referrring to creationist. Yet there is not one thing about my idea that is "God" related. But just the fact I propose a variation is enough. In fact the reaction is the same as one gets from fundamentalists if suggesting the Bible might be wrong in a couple of chapters

I can't see much difference between the Creationits-Early Earther and the hardline atheist.

#10 ModusTollens

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:31 PM

Plenty to read on that thread.

In my opinion the problem with te science of evolution is it is so involved within political and "God" debate.

I believe in the basics of evolution but I differ in one area to what is normally presented under the evolution umbrella. I have posted that view on two atheist forums and the atheists come in like a swarm of bees to attack and the attack keeps referrring to creationist. Yet there is not one thing about my idea that is "God" related. But just the fact I propose a variation is enough. In fact the reaction is the same as one gets from fundamentalists if suggesting the Bible might be wrong in a couple of chapters

I can't see much difference between the Creationits-Early Earther and the hardline atheist.

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Well, Ark, I'd like to hear what you have to say about evolution...and I can tell you that from a philosophical perspective, you could even be a bit more bold with that last line: there is literally no difference between YE Creationists and "hardline" atheists. Both make the same kinds of claims on the world, just in opposite directions.

#11 The Ark

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 08:48 AM

Well, Ark, I'd like to hear what you have to say about evolution...and I can tell you that from a philosophical perspective, you could even be a bit more bold with that last line:  there is literally no difference between YE Creationists and "hardline" atheists.  Both make the same kinds of claims on the world, just in opposite directions.

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Firstly, let me say much of my ideas on evolution are influenced from having kept reptiles, both lizard and venomous snakes. In fact it is very hard, maybe impossible, to keep those sort of animals and walk away with the view that evolution is a fairy tale.

But moving on, I simply don't believe the major transitions occurred. The move from egg spawn to amniote, lizard to snake is one big change. As you know this type of change is a favourite of the creationist when attacking evolution. For those of you who might not be into the reptile scense a snake is not a lizard without legs. They are nothing alike.

My belief is the "starting points" were far greater in number and much earlier. I know it is over simplifying but I don't agree with fish>amphibian>reptile>mammal. I believe if we had a magic videa that we could play backwards that these animals would have their own video which would play back to the beginning.

As an example, getting from no eyes to eyes is easy. Every change is a gain. But let's say we have two animals (at the vey primitive level and with a common ancestor) and they start evolving and part of that evolution is light reception but on different parts of their body. We now jump forward millions of years and have two animals that are similar but with a big difference in their eyes, including position of the eyes. Evolution will try and describe why one animal evolved from the other (again, simplifying for the exercise), the creationists will say it could not have happened because the "second animal" would not survive the transition. However, my view is they both had different startting points and the evolution of the eyes was occurring well before that evolved to look like similar animals.

In other words I am saying that there is no need for the big transitions and they did not happen. There is an Australian herpetologist, Dr Bryan Fry who is a world leader on venom evolution and recently they have moved the evolution of venom back to before the split of lizard/snake. I will get a couple of links later. He also has a forum http://www.venomdoc.com/forums/

With fish, amphibian and reptile I believe they commenced separately in the water. In other words the video playback for each of them would go back to a very primitive animal and that is where the split occurred. However, the product of the split that would lead to the amphibian took much longer to evolve than the fish and the product of the split that led to reptile took much longer again.

On the other hand I do believe that there was evolution that would lead to major transition but it hits a wall or an evolution dead end. In other words the transition required is too big a hill to get over. A legless lizard is an interesting little animal. Lost the legs but it is all lizard and quite an incompetent little animal. There are about 3000 species of snake and about 3000 "legged" lizards but only a few species of legless lizard. Compared to a snake they are very handicapped. As a side note if you look at a lizard and a snake and assume the lizard is a longer thinner one then the loss of legs is relatively simple. BUT, to move to the snake body and especially the skull/jaws and of course the venom system, this one big change.

#12 Bruce V.

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 09:26 AM

Interesting.  I don't wish to argue at all, as I was asking for opinions only, but I suspect that you will find this interesting, given your response, so I will merely present anthropology's current views and definitions, without espousing them as definitively true.  B)

First, dividing these animals into different taxa, as you rightly point out, is quite difficult, and there is lots of squabbling about it within anthropology: we argue about whether Paranthropus is its own genus or if it is part of Australopithecus, we argue as to whether habilis should really be Aust. or Homo, and we argue (quite intensly) over whether neandertaliensis is its own species or a sub-species.  However, the reason we do differentiate them at all is because of bodily morphology and brain size.  Australopithecus is a bit like an erect ape, with an ape-sized brain of ~450cc.  Paranthropus is heavier-framed and very slightly taller with thicker jaws, but with the same ~450cc brain that modern chimpanzees share.  The post-cranial skeleton of Homo(?) habilis is identical to that of an A. africanus; indeed, when we don't find skulls, we absolutely cannot tell them apart.  The brain of habilis is nearly twice as large, however, averaging ~720cc (this is the first increase in cranial capacity that occurs, and that is why habilis is so often grouped with Homo in spite of their australopithicine post-cranial skeleton...they straddle the line between Australopithecus and Homo so fundamentally that we just can't tell) Ergaster is represents the final major change in the post-cranial skeleton, with much shorter (proportionately) arms and a hairless, modern-statured body built for running rather than walking...an ergaster wearing a hood would not be detected if you saw him/her riding the bus near you.  Their brains were about 850cc, and the new cranial expansion was all in the areas directly related to speech, so they could talk, but because of the shape of their cranium (long rather than tall like ours) and the vocal tract, they would have been capable only of the sorts of sounds that our toddlers make, but at a deeper register.  Erectus looked just like ergaster, but had a brain of ~1150cc, still increasing the verbal areas of the brain.  Homo sapiens are more gracile than ergaster or erectus, our bones are not as thick as theirs, and our musculature is weaker (their long bones are slightly warped because their muscles pulled on them so hard), and our brains average a whopping ~1350cc, with expansion again occuring in the speech centers.  And our skulls (with the exception of neandertals) shifted to be oriented from the top to the bottom rather than from from front to back.  Now, we don't know what would have happened if a sapiens had actually bred with an ergaster, so we can only take educated guesses at where the species lines lie; we simply do the best we can.

As for the articles you posted...they are certainly interesting.  As for the Australopithicine jaw, that's surprising, and I have some questions about it, but they seem to be saying that H. sapiens didn't come from Au. Australopithecus.  Well, no one thinks that is the case.  Anthropologists currently hold that we came form Au. africanus, which we think probably held a cousin-like relationship to afarensis.  So it would still be surprising if afarensis weren't related.

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Hi Modus,

Great posting. I really enjoy how you speak from experience and first hand knowledge. I do not have that luxury. I am engaging in the discussion, not so much to argue, but to learn.

I read a Creationist review an article called "Evolution of the Genus Homo" by Ian Tattersall and Jeffrey Schwartz.

You talked about brain size as an important morphological distinction. To me the difference between man and his predecessors is intelligence. These authors make this point which I found interesting:

Unusual though Homo sapiens may be morphologically, it is undoubtedly our remarkable cognitive qualities that most strikingly demarcate us from all other extant species.  They are certainly what give us our strong subjective sense of being qualitatively different.  And they are all ultimately traceable to our symbolic capacity.  Human beings alone, it seems, mentally dissect the world into a multitude of discrete symbols, and combine and recombine those symbols in their minds to produce hypotheses of alternative possibilities.  When exactly Homo sapiens acquired this unusual ability is the subject of debate (contrast Tattersall 1998, 2004 with McBrearty & Brooks 2000).  How, exactly, this ability was acquired is even more controversial (contrast Deacon 1997 with Wynn & Coolidge 2004).  Symbolic and nonsymbolic cognitive states are clearly separated by a qualitative gulf: The former is not simply an extension of the latter, a little bit more of the same.  How that gulf was bridged in the evolution of Homo sapiens, and what the neural mechanisms are that permitted it, remain unclear.  Still, by looking for evidence of expressly symbolic activities in the archaeological record of early hominid behaviors, it is possible to sketch, at least tentatively, the context in which this astonishing transition took place.


What these authors view as evidence for intelligence is cranial capacity:

homo erectus---> Homo neanderthalensis ---->Homo sapiens.

However, the authors also stated that there is no obvious connection between brain size and cognition:

Despite a significant increase in average hominid brain sizes compared to the bipedal apes, there is no immediate signal in the record of any major cognitive improvement with the advent of the new body form.  Intuitively, this may seem surprising, but in fact, it is a dramatic example of a theme that is found repeatedly throughout the long history of human evolution: that biological and cultural innovations tend not to occur concurrently:


This is so confusing to me. How is that cranial size is used as evidence for evolution because it demonstrates increased intelligence over time, on one hand. But on the other hand, they state there is no relationship between brain size and and major cognitive improvement?

#13 Bruce V.

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 09:51 AM

Firstly, let me say much of my ideas on evolution are influenced from having kept reptiles, both lizard and venomous snakes. In fact it is very hard, maybe impossible, to keep those sort of animals and walk away with the view that evolution is a fairy tale.

But moving on, I simply don't believe the major transitions occurred. The move from egg spawn to amniote, lizard to snake is one big change. As you know this type of change is a favourite of the creationist when attacking evolution. For those of you who might not be into the reptile scense a snake is not a lizard without legs. They are nothing alike.

My belief is the "starting points" were far greater in number and much earlier. I know it is over simplifying but I don't agree with fish>amphibian>reptile>mammal. I believe if we had a magic videa that we could play backwards that these animals would have their own video which would play back to the beginning.

As an example, getting from no eyes to eyes is easy. Every change is a gain. But let's say we have two animals (at the vey primitive level and with a common ancestor) and they start evolving and part of that evolution is light reception but on different parts of their body. We now jump forward millions of years and have two animals that are similar but with a big difference in their eyes, including position of the eyes. Evolution will try and describe why one animal evolved from the other (again, simplifying for the exercise), the creationists will say it could not have happened because the "second animal" would not survive the transition. However, my view is they both had different startting points and the evolution of the eyes was occurring well before that evolved to look like similar animals.

In other words I am saying that there is no need for the big transitions and they did not happen. There is an Australian herpetologist, Dr Bryan Fry who is a world leader on venom evolution and recently they have moved the evolution of venom back to before the split of lizard/snake. I will get a couple of links later. He also has a forum http://www.venomdoc.com/forums/

With fish, amphibian and reptile I believe they commenced separately in the water. In other words the video playback for each of them would go back to a very primitive animal and that is where the split occurred. However, the product of the split that would lead to the amphibian took much longer to evolve than the fish and the product of the split that led to reptile took much longer again.

On the other hand I do believe that there was evolution that would lead to major transition but it hits a wall or an evolution dead end. In other words the transition required is too big a hill to get over. A legless lizard is an interesting little animal. Lost the legs but it is all lizard and quite an incompetent little animal. There are about 3000 species of snake and about 3000 "legged" lizards but only a few species of legless lizard. Compared to a snake they are very handicapped. As a side note if you look at a lizard and a snake and assume the lizard is a longer thinner one then the loss of legs is relatively simple. BUT, to move to the snake body and especially the skull/jaws and of course the venom system, this one big change.

View Post


Hi Ark,

I don't have much time. We have debated eye evolution in the past.

There is a preconception IMHO by evolutionist that if it can explain why the shape of eye changes in several progressive steps they have explained the evolution of the eye. This is interesting, but to me the evolution needs to explain the evolution of the complete eye system. How the muscles, nerve endings, blood vessels .... happened. Yes, evolution has an interesting story of how eye geometry changed, but how did the brain evolve so that it can interpret light into usable information. Any system that translates something (light in this case) into usable information is evidence of a designer not random chance.

The eye muscles - how do they evolve?

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#14 The Ark

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 10:37 AM

There is a preconception IMHO by evolutionist that if it can explain why the shape of eye changes in several progressive steps they have explained the evolution of the eye.  This is interesting, but to me the evolution needs to explain the evolution of the complete eye system.  How the muscles, nerve endings, blood vessels .... happened.  Yes, evolution has an interesting story of how eye geometry changed, but how did the brain evolve so that it can interpret light into usable information.  Any system that translates something (light in this case) into usable information is evidence of a designer not random chance.

The eye muscles - how do they evolve?


I partly agree with you. Another interesting one is the venom/fang situation with viper and pit vipers.

However, if we assumed for a moment that my idea is correct, as in my previous post then getting to the eye will not mean a period of "non survival", at least due to eye evolution, so therefore we can be lots of attempts where survival continues for a long time.

But remember it is not all random. For example, say you have a 100 marbles and there are 10 different sizes or 10 different materials of which they are made. Put the 100 in a bottle and shake and 10 "of a type" will always go to the bottom. However, which of those 10 is at the very bottom is random but we are dealing with a 1 in 10 not a 1 in 100.

The other issue is the eye as you have described does not need to evolve overnight. Once evolution has taken the eye to a general design then it is on the way to the current eye.

You have heard it before...if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck....I think evloution is like that. Also, and this has been said plenty of times before, if God or a god created all these animals with "intelligent design" then He is either a bit limited or was drunk on the job.

As a side note I see you list yourself as Creationist/Old Earth....what does that view mean in respect of dinosaurs coexisting with man. I am only asking because I am only familiar with creationist going hand in hand with a young earth.

#15 Seek123

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 10:48 AM

Firstly, let me say much of my ideas on evolution are influenced from having kept reptiles, both lizard and venomous snakes. In fact it is very hard, maybe impossible, to keep those sort of animals and walk away with the view that evolution is a fairy tale.

But moving on, I simply don't believe the major transitions occurred. The move from egg spawn to amniote, lizard to snake is one big change. As you know this type of change is a favourite of the creationist when attacking evolution. For those of you who might not be into the reptile scense a snake is not a lizard without legs. They are nothing alike.

My belief is the "starting points" were far greater in number and much earlier. I know it is over simplifying but I don't agree with fish>amphibian>reptile>mammal. I believe if we had a magic videa that we could play backwards that these animals would have their own video which would play back to the beginning.

As an example, getting from no eyes to eyes is easy. Every change is a gain. But let's say we have two animals (at the vey primitive level and with a common ancestor) and they start evolving and part of that evolution is light reception but on different parts of their body. We now jump forward millions of years and have two animals that are similar but with a big difference in their eyes, including position of the eyes. Evolution will try and describe why one animal evolved from the other (again, simplifying for the exercise), the creationists will say it could not have happened because the "second animal" would not survive the transition. However, my view is they both had different startting points and the evolution of the eyes was occurring well before that evolved to look like similar animals.

In other words I am saying that there is no need for the big transitions and they did not happen. There is an Australian herpetologist, Dr Bryan Fry who is a world leader on venom evolution and recently they have moved the evolution of venom back to before the split of lizard/snake. I will get a couple of links later. He also has a forum http://www.venomdoc.com/forums/

With fish, amphibian and reptile I believe they commenced separately in the water. In other words the video playback for each of them would go back to a very primitive animal and that is where the split occurred. However, the product of the split that would lead to the amphibian took much longer to evolve than the fish and the product of the split that led to reptile took much longer again.

On the other hand I do believe that there was evolution that would lead to major transition but it hits a wall or an evolution dead end. In other words the transition required is too big a hill to get over. A legless lizard is an interesting little animal. Lost the legs but it is all lizard and quite an incompetent little animal. There are about 3000 species of snake and about 3000 "legged" lizards but only a few species of legless lizard. Compared to a snake they are very handicapped. As a side note if you look at a lizard and a snake and assume the lizard is a longer thinner one then the loss of legs is relatively simple. BUT, to move to the snake body and especially the skull/jaws and of course the venom system, this one big change.

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The one issue that sticks out in my mind with this interpretation (other than universal common ancestory, obviously), is that it would require almost astronomical amounts of very very precise convergent evolution events.

#16 The Ark

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 12:02 PM

The one issue that sticks out in my mind with this interpretation (other than universal common ancestory, obviously), is that it would require almost astronomical amounts of very very precise convergent evolution events.

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But not so much if there are many starting points. But in addition a frog, snake and lizard are very different. A legless lizard really demonstrates that a lizard and a snake are totally different. They obviously have features so they are lumped together but they are different in the extreme.

I also think convergent evolution is only party true or responsible. In fact I think you have a situation where two animals have some similarities and because of those similarities they find or gravitate to an environment that really suits some of their features as opposed to an environment being the cause of the evolution of the features. For example lizards and snakes both do very well in desert environments, most of which could be attributed to very low food/water requirements, their "close to the ground" stance also making them very good at catching small prey. But I think their features simply allow them to gravitate to such an evironment rather than that environment causing the features to evolve.

In my opinion evolution (or perhaps it is evolutionists) tends to portray an image of a single creature evolving along the line. This might happen because fossil finds are so scarce that so much hangs of a couple of fossils. But I think evolution is a bit of a rough sort of thing and it takes hundreds of different creatures evolving for one to break through. In other words there are lots and lots of dice being rolled and on lots and lots of surfaces and so ultimately a few combinations of the dice and surfaces rolled on is a winner. But the winning dice and surfaces rolled on were not achieved by modifying an individual pair of dice etc. More like having a 100 different people carving or making their dice but from the same piece of wood or whatever material.

#17 Bruce V.

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 02:28 PM

Hi Ark,

But remember it is not all random. For example, say you have a 100 marbles and there are 10 different sizes or 10 different materials of which they are made. Put the 100 in a bottle and shake and 10 "of a type" will always go to the bottom. However, which of those 10 is at the very bottom is random but we are dealing with a 1 in 10 not a 1 in 100.



That is not how I understand mutation and natural selection works. How does your example translate into a real life example? My understanding is that most mutations are both recessive and mildly negative. These kinds of mutations would not be selected selectively as your heavy marble analogy suggests.

You have heard it before...if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck....I think evloution is like that. Also, and this has been said plenty of times before, if God or a god created all these animals with "intelligent design" then He is either a bit limited or was drunk on the job.


The bad design argument implicitly states that design is detectable. If so than I.D. is a valid POV. Second, how do we know it is a bad design. We do not not know what the designer had in mind. For example, a small car is good for mileage but bad for hauling lots of children. Third, a bad design does not mean no design. A badly designed car is still designed.

As a side note I see you list yourself as Creationist/Old Earth....what does that view mean in respect of dinosaurs coexisting with man. I am only asking because I am only familiar with creationist going hand in hand with a young earth.

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I believe the Day in Genesis 1 is not a literal day. How could a literal day happen without a sun or a moon which happens ~ day 4. In day 7 God rested. God does not need to rest, He is all omnipotent. I also believe God transcends time, He sees the beginning and the end. So what is a day to a being where time is irrelevant?

I believe that the evidence points to an old Earth. I have a tough time with idea that God created the world with the appearance of age. It sounds deceptive.

#18 Seth

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 03:00 PM

This is something I wonder about...in the world view of a YE Creationist, what exactly are the non-Homo sapiens hominid species?  Do you see them as simple hoaxes?  Do you see them as completely separate from us?  I just wonder...I am an anthropologist, and I've held in my hands the skulls of (in chronological order) Ardipithicus ramidus, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Paranthopus boseii, Paranthopus robustus, Homo habilis, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, and the early modern Homo sapiens, such as Homo sapiens neandertalensis.

I'm not asking for any sort of evidence concerning why you feel the way you do, I'd just like to know what place they hold in the universe that you see before you. 

As for me, looking into the eyes of an ergaster or an erectus skull is a chilling experience.  It is by no means part of the reason I accept evolution, but I can just see...humanity...staring back out of the eye sockets.  I can look at the sutures on the skull and tell the age of death exactly as I can with a modern skeleton, I can look at the teeth and see the exact same wear patterns that occur in skeletons I've examined who died less than a year ago.  I just...see a human life unfolding before my eyes.  And I know not many people get to actually hold these fossils in their hands, but I just wanted to know what you think of them.

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#19 Bex

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 03:00 PM

I believe that the evidence points to an old Earth.  I have a tough time with idea that God created the world with the appearance of age.  It sounds deceptive.

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It is not deceptive at all. He created everything as adults in the beginning (fully matured) and they were called to then re-produce after their own kind the earth brought forth an abundence of food from already adult tree/plants. From there, the seeds from such would then create more.

Adam and Eve were not created little babies or children. They were made fully matured adults. Everything was. How is this deceptive? a fully matured/fertile earth is not deceptive either. It fits with everything else He created.

#20 Seth

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 03:02 PM

This was something I made a bit ago for another discussion about this same topic.
The pictures of the skulls are from Bone Clones.




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