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  Topic: Evolution of the horse; a problem for Darwinism?, For Daniel Smith to present his argument< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Timothy McDougald



Posts: 1010
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2007,16:36   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Sep. 23 2007,04:07)
Quote (creeky belly @ Sep. 23 2007,00:24)
     
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"As we all know, Darwin's theory of evolutionary descent asserts that organisms evolve slowly and very gradually through the smallest of individual steps, through the accumulation of an infinite number of small transformations.  Consequently, the fossil organic world would have to consist of an uninterrupted, undivided continuum of forms; as Darwin himself said, geological strata must be filled with the remains of every conceivable transitional form between taxonomic groups, between types of organizations and structural designs of differing magnitudes.

This assumes that fossilization is a uniform process throughout the lineage of a species. Unfortunately, fossilization is a relatively rare event, and to see such a process is very unlikely. This doesn't mean we see nothing.

Schindewolf was a paleontologist.  He knew how fossilization occurred.  To accuse him of assuming something when (I'm pretty sure) you haven't read the book is presumptuous.  He bases his arguments on a multitude of fossil lineages that are thoroughly understood. He spends 55 pages discussing evolutionary patterns among the Cephalopods and the Stony Corals.  He uses real world examples in support of his arguments.
     
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and to see such a process is very unlikely.
But we do see it (transitional forms) over and over and over again - only they are not transitional between types, but only within types.  Now I ask you: Why is it that only these transitional forms are preserved?
           
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Fossil material did not then and, based on the present state of our knowledge, does not today meet this challenge, not by a long shot. It is true that we know of countless lineages with continuous transformation, in as uninterrupted a sequence as could be desired.  However, each time we go back to the beginning of these consistent, abundantly documented series, we stand before an unbridgeable gulf.  The series break off and do not lead beyond the boundaries of their own particular structural type.  The link connecting them is not discernible; the individual structural designs stand apart, beside one another or in sequence, without true transitional forms"

This is demonstrably false. It's like staring at a puzzle after a few pieces have been laid out and saying "We'll never see the picture of Garfield." It's absurd. Look at whale evolution: this use to be trotted out by creationists as an impossible transition only to find that it existed in the fossil record.. You can quote this book all you want, but you're in a poor position to rebut considering that the book is about 60 years old. There have been numerous discoveries of transitional forms in fish, birds, and mammals since then, all of which dispute this point. This doesn't even get into disciplines like genetics, where you'll have an even worse time. Please continue, though. I'm interested what this man from the past thinks we'll never find.

Schindewolf had no arguments against whale evolution to my knowledge.  He did point out that - despite their similar habitats, ichthyosaurs and whales remained reptiles and mammals respectively and did not revert to "the organizations found in fish".  

You have to remember that Schindewolf is no creationist.  He advocated saltational evolution of types, followed by gradual evolution within types.  He did something remarkable: he tailored his views to fit the evidence rather than trying to make the evidence fit his views.

See, that is the kind of goal post moving Wesley is talking about. Going from land living artiodactyls to ocean going whales is a significant transition, one, I might add, that we have plenty of evidence for. We show him a transition between orders and he demands one between classes. Okay, the reptile mammal transition, which is quite well documented with transitional forms displaying a wide variety of transitional anatomy.

Although Schindewolf may have been a paleontologist, I doubt he had a very solid understanding of the fossilization process. Taphonomy - the study of fossilization - is a very young science. Efremov coined the term in the 1940's but the field didn't take off till the 1970's and 1980's. This is not to say that paleontologists were ignorant of how fossils form and the way the fossil record can be biased, rather we have progressed a good deal since then.

Daniel is mistaken if he thinks Schindewolf is presenting unbiased and unadulterated evidence. Schindewolf had his own theoretical preconceptions that he used to interpret the evidence. Seems to me that if he really wanted to see the evidence he would be looking at the fossils and not the interpretations of Schindewolf and Berg...

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Church burning ebola boy

FTK: I Didn't answer your questions because it beats the hell out of me.

PaV: I suppose for me to be pried away from what I do to focus long and hard on that particular problem would take, quite honestly, hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin to pique my interest.

   
  1733 replies since Sep. 18 2007,15:27 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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