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OgreMkV



Posts: 3322
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 08 2011,15:01   

Quote (Southstar @ Nov. 08 2011,14:05)
[quote=Southstar,Nov. 08 2011,13:41][/quote]
Okay,

One thing that I keep getting back is that fossils that are found are placed in species according to whim of whoever finds the fossil.
Now I really can't imagine it going on a whim.. Is there a fixed protocol, or some sort of methodical proof that a fossil belongs to one spieces or another. In some cases only a tooth is found or part of a jaw bone or whatever.

The main example they throw out is well you see the fossils you find are all extinct apes except for Neaderthals they were human.

The main argument I throw out against this is that "I presume" that DNA studies are carried out on the bones and those give proof of who they belong too. But DNA decays over time so how do you go about to prove that let's say a dolphin was once a Basilosaurus.

Any ideas on this
Marty

Well, you can't say that the fossil was once an ancestor of a modern species.  That's impossible, but it's also not required for science.  The creationists often demand this because they know it's impossible (or they actually think it's required).

That's not what transitional means.  Transitional means it has some characters of past species and some characters of future species.

No one thinks that Archeopteryx was the ancestor of all birds.  Nor does it exist between dinosaurs and birds.  But (using talk.origins archives) when you compare characters, the Archeopteryx has mostly dinosaur characters and only a few bird characters.

Like, read about Tiktaalik.  In this case Shubin knew what he wanted to find.  He knew the characteristics it had to have... which defines in what environment is had to live.  He also had a time range in which it should have existed.  He was able to look for rock layers of the appropriate age and type and in only a few years found Tiktaalik.

The creationists might say that Tiktaalik is not transitional because it's the wrong age.  That is incorrect.  Transitional is about characters (location of holes in bones, numbers of bones, kinds of teeth, even patterns in shells) not time or direct ancestry.

Your dad is transitional between you and your grandparents.  But also, your dad is transitional between you and your uncle.  Your grandfather is transitional between you and your cousins.  Transitional has nothing to do with time.  You can look up the definitions of transitional and post those if they think otherwise.

You might also take a look at the evolution of whales on wiki and the testimony of Kevin Paidan in the Kitzmiller trial (on talk.origins).  He describes in pretty good detail about the transitionals.  It's not just the nose, or the forelimbs, or the hind limbs, or the vertebrae, it's all of them taken together.

That's the one thing that creationists also can't deal with.  The volume of information on science.  They can't grasp that we aren't just making these supposed links between fossils based on one thing.  For whales, for example, we have hundreds of fossils, we have genetic studies, we have biogeographical studies, chemistry (the Oxygen isotope ratio in bones is different for marine creatures than land creatures).  So their explanation has to deal with all of that.

Keep asking.  "Well, explain how you think it happened.  Why do you think so?  What evidence supports your opinion?"

As far as the teeth.  It's all about expertise.  You can't just hand a tooth to anyone and they can say, "that's a new species".  The people who are making these determinations are experts in their field.  They have been studying their chosen subject for decades.  I can watch a movie and tell you the make, model number, number of rounds, and range of about any firearm in the movie, just from a glance.  I've been studying firearms for decades.  I can't look at a shark tooth and tell you what kind it is from, but I know that there are people that can.

That's all it is.  When the scientists propose a new species, it undergoes some intense scrutiny.  It's not "Hey, I found a new species."  It's "I think I found a new species and here's my evidence why.  What do you think?"

--------------
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
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