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#1 Bruce V.

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 09:57 PM

Sometimes the best way to answer someone who disagrees with you is to understand their point of view. What facts they feel are important and why they see them as important.

I know that most people on this site, including me, do not believe in evolution. But my question is:

What do you think is their strongest case for evolution? [U][SIZE=7]

If you believe in evolution, feel free to put your best foot forward.

It dawned at me that I have gone through college and have been told that evolution is true. However, I am embarrassed to say I can't tell you any specific evidence that they would used as "proof beyond a reasonable doubt". I feel that my world view is so colored I just blew it off. (shame on me)

#2 MRC_Hans

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 01:40 AM

I don't know what is the strongest evidence, but the fossil record is pretty strong evidence. As we explore DNA, new supportive evidence surfaces almost daily.

Hans

#3 jason78

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 01:48 AM

Perhaps the strongest evidence is that populations of organisms actually do change over time and adapt to their environment.

#4 Springer

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 06:15 AM

I don't know what is the strongest evidence, but the fossil record is pretty strong evidence.

If that's your "strongest evidence", then evolution is a very weak theory indeed.

As we explore DNA, new supportive evidence surfaces almost daily.

Hans

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The only "evidence" offered in the study of DNA is homology, which equally supports creative design. I would think the overall comlexity of the genetic code would be evidence against evolution.
No one has ever disputed that homology exists. Simply finding more and more examples of it in nature does not lend any support to evolution.

#5 Springer

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 06:18 AM

Perhaps the strongest evidence is that populations of organisms actually do change over time and adapt to their environment.

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So, you've concluded that since antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria can emerge, that this indicates that they can evolve into man.

#6 Bruce V.

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 07:25 AM

Perhaps the strongest evidence is that populations of organisms actually do change over time and adapt to their environment.

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I agree.

#7 Bruce V.

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 08:23 AM

I don't know what is the strongest evidence, but the fossil record is pretty strong evidence. As we explore DNA, new supportive evidence surfaces almost daily.

Hans

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Hi Hans,

I am guilty and I have read mostly I.D. accounts of the fossil record. Would you provide a link that explains how the fossil record proves evolution. I will read it and consider the information. Thanks.

I have a lot to learn. Behe feels that DNA sequencing does prove a common ancestor. He gave the example of how an ape ( I believe) has common DNA sequences in an area that isn't really used. His question is not a common ancestor but that mutation does not explain how the differences between man/ape occurred.

In other words, he says that evolution can be broken down into 3 parts: common decent/mutations/natural selection. You don't have to accept all three premises. Maybe common decent is a good assumption but mutation combined with natural selection is not a good mechanism to explain the differences.

God Bless,

Bruce

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 02:23 PM

Sometimes the best way to answer someone who disagrees with you is to understand their point of view.  What facts they feel are important and why they see them as important.

I know that most people on this site, including me, do not believe in evolution.  But my question is:

What do you think is their strongest case for evolution?  [U][SIZE=7]

If you believe in evolution, feel free to put your best foot forward.

It dawned at me that I have gone through college and have been told that evolution is true.  However, I am embarrassed to say I can't tell you any specific evidence that they would used as "proof beyond a reasonable doubt".  I feel that my world view is so colored I just blew it off.  (shame on me)

The supposed appearance of evolution in a supposedly 3.5 Billion year old fossil record is all they have.

Of course its pretty much undermined at the beginning of the supposed fossil record by the "cambrian explosion".

Terry

#9 jamesf

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 04:22 PM

I am guilty and I have read mostly I.D. accounts of the fossil record. Would you provide  a link that explains how the fossil record proves evolution.

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I hope you don't mind me stepping in here.

First off, science does not do "proofs." Science has evidence and in some cases, the evidence is overwhelming (theories of gravity, evolution, atomic theory etc) but there is never a proof. The theory stands until another theory can account for more of the data. In cases where a general hypothesis can account for a wide range of data, we say we have a theory. So I would say that the vast majority of scientists believe that there is an overwhelming evidence in support of the theory of evolution.

To address the fossil record, evolutionary theory accounts for three major aspects of the fossils that are found.

A. The ordering of the fossils in the geological column
B. The current wide variety of transitional species - and the locations of new fossil discoveries
C. The dating of fossils

Many creationists focus on B and make many attempts to dismiss the hundreds to thousands of transitional fossils (thousands if you consider the transitions within orders). For example if we consider only major transitions within the vertebrates, you get a list like that in the following link. There would be many more thousands if you considered plants and insects.
http://www.holysmoke.org/tran-icr.htm

We could also get into a lengthy discussion regarding the dating of these different organisms. However, the focus should really be on the ordering of these fossils. This ordering was clear to many geologists by the middle of the 19th century and was the focus of theories before Darwin. Darwin simply came up with the best theory.

If we go from the bottom of the geological column we get a very very very clear ordering. The ordering I describe here is found all over the earth. We get a few minor oddities where there are major geological folds, but the folds are quite clear geologically and they are quite rare. The ordering is

1. Bottom layers: No life. No algae, no plants, no complex life, no shells, no bones, no fish, no pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals

2. Next layers (for many layers): single cell life (algae), no multicellular plants, no complex life, no shells, no bones, no fish, no pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

3. Next layers (Pre-Cambrian), first multicellular life (odd Ediacaran life forms) and possible precursors to both vertebrates and trilobites. No shells, no bones, no fish, no land plants, no pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals. See picture below.

4. Cambrian animals appears in many places across the planet. First shells, but no bones, no fish, no land plants, no pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

5. First fish appear (extinct placoderms etc). Mostly cartiledge bones, so at first no bones in the fossil record but these appear later. But still no evidence of land plants. No pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

6. First land plants in the fossil record, followed by the first seeds. First, gymnosperm pollen but no angiosperm (flowering plant) pollen. No land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

7. First transitional vertebrates between water and land. No angiosperm (flowering plants) pollen. No land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.
Here is a great link to this period in Pennsylvania
http://www.devoniant.../pages/who.html

8. First air breathing land animals (e.g., the Gorgons). No angiosperm (flowering plants) pollen, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

9. First dinosaurs, first evidence of flowering plants. No modern mammals have ever been found in these layers.

10. First modern mammals. Most all modern mammals appear only after dinosaurs go extinct.

11. First large primates

12. First evidence of humans


The emphasis of this list should be on what is NOT found. The lower layers do not contain the complex life you find in higher layers. You will be quite famous if you can find any of those things in bold in the lower layers than the order stated (higher up on the list). You will make it into the papers if you call in the press about any new find and certainly famous in your creation community. Just grab a geologic map of your area and see if you can find anything earlier than it should be. There are trillions of tons of rock out there, so let's see the creationist community out there with rock hammers!

I know of no "intelligent design hypothesis" that has made a serious attempt at explaining this ordering - but I would love to read those if any have been proposed.

I don't think I need to explain how the scientific community describes this ordering, but I can do that if you are interested. I can also provide links to any of these if requested. Here is a nice picture of the first complex life found a few million years before the start of the Cambrian (the Ediacaran fossils).

Posted Image
The bottom row is what some have suggested could be the precursors to animals in the Cambrian (e.g. pre-trilobite)
http://en.wikipedia....Ediacaran_biota

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 06:09 PM

First off, science does not do "proofs." Science has evidence and in some cases, the evidence is overwhelming (theories of gravity, evolution, molecular etc) but there is never a proof.


This is evo non-sense. Science is the study of cause-effect relationships. If a cause produces a certain effect repeatedly, then it considered a proof.

Evidence that is subject to speculation and or the bias of the person interpreting is not scientific evidence, its just information that someone can interpret.

The theory stands until another theory can account for more of the data. In cases where a general hypothesis can account for a wide range of data, we say we have a theory.


Who exaclty is "we", and who gave this "we" the right to claim what is acceptable as theory or not when there is on observational support for it, and when there are many observations that contradict it?

Claiming that "scientists believe" is just an empty appeal to authority. Never mind that these so called "scientists" are humans with

* a predisposed world view
* a professional career that depends on their viewpoint of nature
* diplomas on the wall that would be meaningless if they were to admit they were wrong.


So I would say that the vast majority of scientists believe that there is an overwhelming evidence in support of the theory of evolution.


Well, that is exactly the problem... Belief is a synonym for faith, and when science is relagated to a faith based ideology, its nothing more than a godless religion.

That is exactly why, if we are going to not allow religion to be taught in schools, then evolution should be reduced down to what can be demonstrated emperically(i.e nothing), and all of the faith based aspect should be taught in philosophy class(i.e. all of it).

Our youth may have a chance to start thinking again.....

Evolutions is falsified at the beginning of the fossil record, so to ramble on about what supposedly happened after that is just fanciful imagination.

Terry

#11 Bruce V.

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 06:46 PM

I hope you don't mind me stepping in here.

First off, science does not do "proofs." Science has evidence and in some cases, the evidence is overwhelming (theories of gravity, evolution, atomic theory etc) but there is never a proof. The theory stands until another theory can account for more of the data. In cases where a general hypothesis can account for a wide range of data, we say we have a theory. So I would say that the vast majority of scientists believe that there is an overwhelming evidence in support of the theory of evolution.

To address the fossil record, evolutionary theory accounts for three major aspects of the fossils that are found.

A. The ordering of the fossils in the geological column
B. The current wide variety of transitional species - and the locations of new fossil discoveries
C. The dating of fossils

Many creationists focus on B and make many attempts to dismiss the hundreds to thousands of transitional fossils (thousands if you consider the transitions within orders). For example if we consider only major transitions within the vertebrates, you get a list like that in the following link. There would be many more thousands if you considered plants and insects.
http://www.holysmoke.org/tran-icr.htm

We could also get into a lengthy discussion regarding the dating of these different organisms. However, the focus should really be on the ordering of these fossils. This ordering was clear to many geologists by the middle of the 19th century and was the focus of theories before Darwin. Darwin simply came up with the best theory.

If we go from the bottom of the geological column we get a very very very clear ordering. The ordering I describe here is found all over the earth. We get a few minor oddities where there are major geological folds, but the folds are quite clear geologically and they are quite rare. The ordering is

1. Bottom layers: No life. No algae, no plants, no complex life, no shells, no bones, no fish, no pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals

2. Next layers (for many layers): single cell life (algae), no multicellular plants, no complex life, no shells, no bones, no fish, no pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

3. Next layers (Pre-Cambrian), first multicellular life (odd Ediacaran life forms) and possible precursors to both vertebrates and trilobites. No shells, no bones, no fish, no land plants, no pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals. See picture below.

4. Cambrian animals appears in many places across the planet. First shells, but no bones, no fish, no land plants, no pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

5. First fish appear (extinct placoderms etc). Mostly cartiledge bones, so at first no bones in the fossil record but these appear later. But still no evidence of land plants. No pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

6. First land plants in the fossil record, followed by the first seeds.  First, gymnosperm pollen but no angiosperm (flowering plant) pollen. No land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

7. First transitional vertebrates between water and land. No angiosperm (flowering plants) pollen. No land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.
Here is a great link to this period in Pennsylvania
http://www.devoniant.../pages/who.html

8. First air breathing land animals (e.g., the Gorgons). No angiosperm (flowering plants) pollen, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

9. First dinosaurs, first evidence of flowering plants. No modern mammals have ever been found in these layers.

10. First modern mammals. Most all modern mammals appear only after dinosaurs go extinct.

11. First large primates

12. First evidence of humans
The emphasis of this list should be on what is NOT found. The lower layers do not contain the complex life you find in higher layers. You will be quite famous if you can find any of those things in bold in the lower layers than the order stated (higher up on the list). You will make it into the papers if you call in the press about any new find and certainly famous in your creation community. Just grab a geologic map of your area and see if you can find anything earlier than it should be. There are trillions of tons of rock out there, so let's see the creationist community out there with rock hammers!

I know of no "intelligent design hypothesis" that has made a serious attempt at explaining this ordering - but I would love to read those if any have been proposed.

I don't think I need to explain how the scientific community describes this ordering, but I can do that if you are interested. I can also provide links to any of these if requested. Here is a nice picture of the first complex life found a few million years before the start of the Cambrian (the Ediacaran fossils).

Posted Image
The bottom row is what some have suggested could be the precursors to animals in the Cambrian (e.g. pre-trilobite)
http://en.wikipedia....Ediacaran_biota

View Post



Thank you for going to effort and making this information together for me. It looks like it took effort -Thank you again. I am on information overload.

Question: The Cambrian fossils looks like the more sophisticated fossils showed up first (phyra (sp)) and then the lower forms. Is this true, if so how does this fit into the evolution theory?

#12 MRC_Hans

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:53 AM

Yes, thanks for a comprehensive yet simple explanation, James. I can only second it.

92g, I don't think it is constructive to enter into semantic nitpicks about the terms "theory" and "proof". Suffice to say that if evidence is solid enough, it is generally termed "proof", however science also recognizes that no "proof" is ever so solid that it could never be overruled, at least not for theories of any complexity.

What I would like to hear is how you come to the conclusion that the "cambrian explosion" falsifies evolution.

Also, I would like to point out that science is not necessarily a study of cause and effect relations. Scinence is ultimately the quest to find facts.

The supposed appearance of evolution in a supposedly 3.5 Billion year old fossil record is all they have.


Well, since that amounts to, literally, mountains of evidence :unsure: , that is quite a lot in itself.

However, we also have the supporting evidence from the study of the relations between extant life-forms, lately much enhanced by DNA studies.

Hans

#13 ikester7579

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:56 AM

This is evo non-sense. Science is the study of cause-effect relationships.  If a cause produces a certain effect repeatedly, then it considered a proof.

Evidence that is subject to speculation and or the bias of the person interpreting is not scientific evidence, its just information that someone can interpret.
Who exaclty is "we", and who gave this "we" the right to claim what is acceptable as theory or not when there is on observational support for it, and when there are many observations that contradict it?

Claiming that "scientists believe" is just an empty appeal to authority.  Never mind that these so called "scientists" are humans with

* a predisposed world view
* a professional career that depends on their viewpoint of nature
* diplomas on the wall that would be meaningless if they were to admit they were wrong.
Well, that is exactly the problem...  Belief is a synonym for faith, and when science is relagated to a faith based ideology, its nothing more than a godless religion.

That is exactly why, if we are going to not allow religion to be taught in schools, then evolution should be reduced down to what can be demonstrated emperically(i.e nothing), and all of the faith based aspect should be taught in philosophy class(i.e. all of it).

Our youth may have a chance to start thinking again.....

Evolutions is falsified at the beginning of the fossil record, so to ramble on about what supposedly happened after that is just fanciful imagination.

Terry

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I agree. B)

#14 MRC_Hans

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:58 AM

If that's your "strongest evidence", then evolution is a very weak theory indeed.



The only "evidence" offered in the study of DNA is homology, which equally supports creative design.  I would think the overall comlexity of the genetic code would be evidence against evolution.
No one has ever disputed that homology exists.  Simply finding more and more examples of it in nature does not lend any support to evolution.

View Post

A planetful of phorensic evidence is not my concept of weak evidence, but to each his own.

No, homology is only one part. Another is continuity. Yet another is that DNA studies confirm the predictions made by the ToE. The overall complexity of the genetic code amounts to overcomplexity (lots of apparantly redundant code), which certainly supports a non-intelligent origin.

Hans

#15 ikester7579

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 01:01 AM

Yes, thanks for a comprehensive yet simple explanation, James. I can only second it.

92g, I don't think it is constructive to enter into semantic nitpicks about the terms "theory" and "proof". Suffice to say that if evidence is solid enough, it is generally termed "proof", however science also recognizes that no "proof" is ever so solid that it could never be overruled, at least not for theories of any complexity.

What I would like to hear is how you come to the conclusion that the "cambrian explosion" falsifies evolution.

Also, I would like to point out that science is not necessarily a study of cause and effect relations. Scinence is ultimately the quest to find facts.
Well, since that amounts to, literally, mountains of evidence  B) , that is quite a lot in itself.

However, we also have the supporting evidence from the study of the relations between extant life-forms, lately much enhanced by DNA studies.

Hans

View Post


Since evolution is already the accepted truth of most all scientists. The only thing that will ever over rule anything that supports it, is new evidence for it. This is the main reason creation will never be looked into without a bias opinion that it is already wrong.

In fact, when was the last time any evolutionist here looked into any creation evidence with an open mind? And what was that evidence? Evidence that they did not let the opinion of their peers taint, but made a decision on their own about it.

#16 Springer

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 07:28 AM

No, homology is only one part. Another is continuity. Yet another is that DNA studies confirm the predictions made by the ToE.


What "predictions" do DNA studies make to confirm ToE?

The overall complexity of the genetic code amounts to overcomplexity (lots of apparantly redundant code), which certainly supports a non-intelligent origin.

Hans

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So, you're saying the genetic code is really not that complex? Is that the substance of your argument?

#17 MRC_Hans

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 08:21 AM

Since evolution is already the accepted truth of most all scientists. The only thing that will ever over rule anything that supports it, is new evidence for it. This is the main reason creation will never be looked into without a bias opinion that it is already wrong.

In fact, when was the last time any evolutionist here looked into any creation evidence with an open mind? And what was that evidence? Evidence that they did not let the opinion of their peers taint, but made a decision on their own about it.

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To the best of my ability, I have always looked into presented evidence with an open mind.

Hans

#18 MRC_Hans

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 08:27 AM

What "predictions" do DNA studies make to confirm ToE?
So, you're saying the genetic code is really not that complex?  Is that the substance of your argument?

View Post

Excuse me for being a bit blunt, here, but you seem to lack some reading comprehension. I said that DNA studies confirm the predictions made by ToE, not the other way around. And (some of) those predictions are, of course:

- That all life forms appear to be related (not just homology, but through a "family tree").

- That the genetic code of life forms allow them to express adaptions to the environment.

- That the genetic code can be changed over time.

And I said that the genetic code is overcomplex. How you can read that as "really not that complex" is entirely beyond me, sorry.

Hans

#19 Bruce V.

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 09:34 AM

To the best of my ability, I have always looked into presented evidence with an open mind.

Hans

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I think having evolutionist on this site makes the site better: It is hard to have a debate by yourselves. I like having Jamesf and Hans: They are respectful and answer with facts and science they have learned. I also think the best threads are when both sides are going at each others arguments with respect.


Quesion:

Hans asked why we think the Cambrian disproves evolution. The answer I have heard is that the fossil record starts off with higher ordered fossils (Phyla) and latter the lower (less complex) forms show up. In other words it show a top down rather than a bottom up as evolution would expect: Most complex first followed by lower complexity. Ostensibly this looks like a problem to evolutionist. What do you think?

I have heard that evolutionist are working past Cambrian using recent DNA and working backwards by sequencing: The problem I have with technique is that the further you get from the source DNA material the bigger the assumptions becomes. Also, as far as I know there is little or no reliable old DNA: Hence, there is no benchmarking which could prove or disprove this technique.

Is Cambrian a problem to evolutionist- I don't know because I have heard only one side. What is the other side?

#20 Bruce V.

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 09:51 AM

I hope you don't mind me stepping in here.

First off, science does not do "proofs." Science has evidence and in some cases, the evidence is overwhelming (theories of gravity, evolution, atomic theory etc) but there is never a proof. The theory stands until another theory can account for more of the data. In cases where a general hypothesis can account for a wide range of data, we say we have a theory. So I would say that the vast majority of scientists believe that there is an overwhelming evidence in support of the theory of evolution.

To address the fossil record, evolutionary theory accounts for three major aspects of the fossils that are found.

A. The ordering of the fossils in the geological column
B. The current wide variety of transitional species - and the locations of new fossil discoveries
C. The dating of fossils

Many creationists focus on B and make many attempts to dismiss the hundreds to thousands of transitional fossils (thousands if you consider the transitions within orders). For example if we consider only major transitions within the vertebrates, you get a list like that in the following link. There would be many more thousands if you considered plants and insects.
http://www.holysmoke.org/tran-icr.htm

We could also get into a lengthy discussion regarding the dating of these different organisms. However, the focus should really be on the ordering of these fossils. This ordering was clear to many geologists by the middle of the 19th century and was the focus of theories before Darwin. Darwin simply came up with the best theory.

If we go from the bottom of the geological column we get a very very very clear ordering. The ordering I describe here is found all over the earth. We get a few minor oddities where there are major geological folds, but the folds are quite clear geologically and they are quite rare. The ordering is

1. Bottom layers: No life. No algae, no plants, no complex life, no shells, no bones, no fish, no pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals

2. Next layers (for many layers): single cell life (algae), no multicellular plants, no complex life, no shells, no bones, no fish, no pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

3. Next layers (Pre-Cambrian), first multicellular life (odd Ediacaran life forms) and possible precursors to both vertebrates and trilobites. No shells, no bones, no fish, no land plants, no pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals. See picture below.

4. Cambrian animals appears in many places across the planet. First shells, but no bones, no fish, no land plants, no pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

5. First fish appear (extinct placoderms etc). Mostly cartiledge bones, so at first no bones in the fossil record but these appear later. But still no evidence of land plants. No pollen, no seeds, no land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

6. First land plants in the fossil record, followed by the first seeds.  First, gymnosperm pollen but no angiosperm (flowering plant) pollen. No land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

7. First transitional vertebrates between water and land. No angiosperm (flowering plants) pollen. No land animals, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.
Here is a great link to this period in Pennsylvania
http://www.devoniant.../pages/who.html

8. First air breathing land animals (e.g., the Gorgons). No angiosperm (flowering plants) pollen, no dinosaurs, no modern mammals.

9. First dinosaurs, first evidence of flowering plants. No modern mammals have ever been found in these layers.

10. First modern mammals. Most all modern mammals appear only after dinosaurs go extinct.

11. First large primates

12. First evidence of humans
The emphasis of this list should be on what is NOT found. The lower layers do not contain the complex life you find in higher layers. You will be quite famous if you can find any of those things in bold in the lower layers than the order stated (higher up on the list). You will make it into the papers if you call in the press about any new find and certainly famous in your creation community. Just grab a geologic map of your area and see if you can find anything earlier than it should be. There are trillions of tons of rock out there, so let's see the creationist community out there with rock hammers!

I know of no "intelligent design hypothesis" that has made a serious attempt at explaining this ordering - but I would love to read those if any have been proposed.

I don't think I need to explain how the scientific community describes this ordering, but I can do that if you are interested. I can also provide links to any of these if requested. Here is a nice picture of the first complex life found a few million years before the start of the Cambrian (the Ediacaran fossils).

Posted Image
The bottom row is what some have suggested could be the precursors to animals in the Cambrian (e.g. pre-trilobite)
http://en.wikipedia....Ediacaran_biota

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This was very good information. I was wondering what you mean by being a theistic evolutionist. Does that mean you believe in God but that evolution was the mechanics he used for creation? I know it is personal so feel free not to answer.

Question about the information:

I was surprised that there where that many transitional fossils. When ever I here something that should be huge but isn't discussed much I feel that neither side feels it is compelling evidence: My yellow flag is raised. How strong is that evidence? I don't know, so this is an honest question.





Thewissen, Hussain, and Arif 1994; Thewissen, Williams, Roe, and Hussain 2001)




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