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newguy
http://censeam.niwa.co.nz/censeam_news/new_species

CenSeam researcher Bertrand Richer de Forges talks about this new discovery:

User posted image

"It's a new species of the genus Neoglyphea. The Glypheides were well known from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods and were supposed to be extinct at the Eocene (about 50 million years ago).

In 1906, the US research vessel "Albatross" caught one live specimen in the Philippines. But nobody recognized it and for 60 years the specimen stayed in the National Museum of Washington. In 1975, two French scientists, J. Forest and Michele de Saint Laurent, discovered this specimen and described it as a fantastic discovery. In fact, the Glypheids were supposed to be the ancestors of all the decapod crustacea.

As soon as possible, in 1976, an oceanographic cruise was organized with a small French research vessel "Vauban" to return to the Philippines. It was a great success and they caught 9 specimens of this "living fossil". It was then possible to publish a detailed description of the animals, and to formulate some phylogenetic hypotheses based on fossil comparisons.

In 1980 and 1985 2 other cruises were carried out in the same area onboard the "Coriolis" - another French vessel, enabling the collection of more specimens including an adult female. In total, 13 specimens of this very rare Neoglyphea inopinata (Forest & de Saint Laurent, 1975) were discovered. In 1985 and 1986, 2 specimens of this species were caught by an Australian commercial trawler in the Arafura Sea.

In October 2005, I conducted an oceanographic cruise (EBISCO) onboard the R.V. "Alis" on the lineament of seamounts below the Chesterfield Islands, on the edge of the Lord Howe Rise. This cruise was devoted to the study of isolation and endemism on the seamounts. After 2 days, trawling on the Capel Bank (about 25°S) at 400 m, we got a strange shrimp...It was a new species of the genus Neoglyphea!

For invertebrate scientists this is equivalent to the discovery of the second species of coelacanth in Indonesia some years ago. Immediately we sent a photo (by email) to my excellent colleagues A. Crosnier in Paris and P.K.L. Ng in Singapore...some hours later they confirmed the identification."



http://msnbc.msn.com/id/12875772/?GT1=8199

‘Living fossil’ found in Coral Sea
Shrimplike creature was thought to have gone extinct 60 million years ago

Updated: 6:51 p.m. ET May 19, 2006
PARIS - French scientists who explored the Coral Sea said Friday they discovered a new species of crustacean that was thought to have become extinct 60 million years ago.

The "living fossil," a female designated Neoglyphea neocaledonica, was discovered 1,312 feet (400 meters) under water during an expedition in the Chesterfield Islands, northwest of New Caledonia, the National Museum of Natural History and the Research Institute for Development said in a statement.

Another so-called living fossil from the Neoglyphea group was discovered in 1908 in the Philippines by the U.S. Albatross, a research vessel. It remained unidentified until 1975, when two French scientists from the natural history museum identified and named it Neoglyphea inopinata. More of the creatures were then found in expeditions to the Philippines between 1976 and 1984.

In October, marine biologist Philippe Bouchet and Bertrand Richer De Forges found the new species of the same living fossil group while trolling an undersea plateau in a remote area between Australia and New Caledonia.

Bouchet, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, described the nearly 5-inch (12-centimeter) creature as "halfway between a shrimp and a mud lobster." Its huge eyes, reddish spots and thickset body distinguished it from the 1908 crustacean.

The huge eyes suggest that light plays a role in the behavior of the creature, which could actively hunt prey, Bouchet said.

With the Coral Sea discovery, "the group is less completely extinct than was thought," he said.

Beyond the intrinsic value of the discovery, the marine biologist said he had been working in the region for two decades before coming across the elusive creature, underscoring that "there are places on this planet incredibly remote and little explored."

The discovery "conveys a message that, in the first years of the 21st century, the exploration of planet Earth is not over," Bouchet said.



All: I wasn't sure where to post this, but this seemed like as good a spot as any.

50 million years ago...

60 million years ago...

They're not dead yet.

"In fact, the Glypheids were supposed to be the ancestors of all the decapod crustacea."(first article posted above)

"Bouchet, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, described the nearly 5-inch (12-centimeter) creature as "halfway between a shrimp and a mud lobster.""(second article posted above)

Do we presently have "shrimp" and "mud lobsters"? Had this "living fossil" been discovered when it was "dead", would this have been dubbed a so-called "transitional fossil"?

Comments? Anyone?
newguy
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11746910/

Back from the dead: Living fossil identified
Rodent had been thought to have died out 11 million years ago


Mark A. Klinger / AP
This squirrel-like rodent was first believed to be a new species, but scientists say it is actually the only living representative of the otherwise extinct Distomydae family of rodents.


User posted image

Updated: 3:35 p.m. ET March 9, 2006
A few months after researchers on one team thought they had discovered a new family of rodent, another group snatched their glory by identifying the critter as a member of a family thought long extinct.

Last year scientists described the body of a squirrel-like rodent found for sale in a meat market in Laos. They believed it belonged to a previously undescribed family and named it Laonastes aenigmamus.

But they failed to fully inspect the fossil record. Upon closer analysis of the creature's teeth, a second group of researchers determined it was a member of the previously known rodent family Diatomyidae.

So a family thought to have died out 11 million years ago is still alive and kicking, the scientists report in the March 10 issue of the journal Science.

Back from the dead
The discovery is an example of what scientists call the "Lazarus effect," a situation when an animal known only through the fossil record is found living.

Perhaps the best known example of the Lazarus effect is the coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish discovered off the coast of South Africa that scientists thought died out at least 65 million years ago.

Most examples of the Lazarus effect in mammals, though, only go back 10,000 years or so.

"It is an amazing discovery and it's the coelacanth of rodents," said study coauthor Mary Dawson of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. "It's the first time in the study of mammals that scientists have found a living fossil of a group that's thought to be extinct for roughly 11 million years. That's quite a gap. Previous mammals had a gap of only a few thousand to just over a million years."

Laonastes is currently in the process of being officially reclassified in the Diatomyidae family.

Diatomyidae were squirrel-sized rodents that lived during the middle Tertiary period 34 million to 11 million years ago in southern Asia, central China, and Japan. They also had highly characteristic molar teeth and jaw structure, which is how the researchers reclassified Laonastes.

A recently discovered fossil of Laonastes matched the "living" specimen in skull shape and overall size. The only difference is that the "living" specimen's teeth are slightly more pointed.

"It looks like possibly one of the things that's been changing in family is improved cutting of vegetation," Dawson told LiveScience. "But over 11 million years you'd expect some differences in the structures."

Western scientists still haven't seen a living Laonastes specimen, which will be critical in conserving what may be a threatened species.

"Biologists need to get out there and find some living ones," Dawson said.

Finding living specimens and understanding how they live could be key to determining why the rodents moved from central Asia into the Indian subcontinent.



All:

What do these "living fossils" have to say about the reliability of the dates that have been attributed to other "fossils"?

Comments? Anyone?
newguy
http://www.amonline.net.au/fishes/fishfacts/fish/coela.htm

Coelacanth
Latimeria chalumnae Smith, 1939


user posted image
Lateral view of a Coelacanth.

user posted image
The mouth of a large female Coelacanth, caught June 1989.

user posted image
Exhibition staff member, Mike Dingley, examining the Coelacanth specimen at the Australian Museum. This fish is registered in the Australian Museum fish collection

user posted image
Above and below: Images of the Australian Museum's Coelacanth.

user posted image

An amazing discovery
A few days before Christmas in 1938, a Coelacanth was caught at the mouth of the Chalumna River on the east coast of South Africa. The fish was caught in a shark gill net by Captain Goosen and his crew, who had no idea of the significance of their find. They thought the fish was bizarre enough to alert the local museum in the small South African town of East London.

The Director of the East London Museum at the time was Miss Marjorie Courtney-Latimer. She alerted the prominent south African ichthyologist Dr J.L.B. Smith to this amazing discovery. The Coelacanth was eventually named (scientific name: Latimeria chalumnae) in honour of Miss Courtney-Latimer.

This Coelacanth specimen led to the discovery of the first documented population, off the Comoros Islands, between Africa and Madagascar. For sixty years this was presumed to be the only Coelacanth population in existence.

Sulawesi Coelacanth
On July 30 1998, a Coelacanth was caught in a deep-water shark net by local fishers off the volcanic island of Manado Tua in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. This is about 10 000 km east of the Western Indian Ocean Coelacanth population. The fisher brought the fish to the house of American biologist Mark Erdmann who along with his wife Arnaz had seen a specimen in the outdoor markets the previous September. The local people were familiar with the Coelacanth and called it raja laut or 'king of the sea'.

When the Coelacanth from Sulawesi was first documented, the only obvious difference between it and the Coelacanth from the Comoros Islands was the colour. The Comoros Coelacanth is renowned for its steel blue colour, whereas fish from the Sulawesi population were reported to be brown. In 1999 the Sulawesi Coelacanth was described as a new species, Latimeria menadoensis by Pouyaud, Wirjoatmodjo, Rachmatika, Tjakrawidjaja, Hadiaty and Hadie.

The discovery of a new species of Coelacanth in Sulawesi, opens up the possibility that Coelacanths may be more widespread and abundant than was previously assumed.

Living fossil
The Coelacanth specimen caught in 1938 is still considered to be the zoological find of the century. This 'living fossil' comes from a lineage of fishes that was thought to have been extinct since the time of the dinosaurs.

Coelacanths are known from the fossil record dating back over 360 million years, with a peak in abundance about 240 million years ago. Before 1938 they were believed to have become extinct approximately 80 million years ago, when they disappeared from the fossil record.


How could Coelacanths disappear for over 80 million years and then turn up alive and well in the twentieth century? The answer seems to be that the Coelacanths from the fossil record lived in environments favouring fossilisation. Modern Coelacanths, both in the Comoros and Sulawesi were found in environments that do not favour fossil formation. They inhabit caves and overhangs in near vertical marine reefs, at about 200 m depth, off newly formed volcanic islands.

The discovery by science of the Coelacanth in 1938 caused so much excitement because at that time Coelacanths were thought to be the ancestors of the tetrapods (land-living animals, including humans). It is now believed that Lungfishes are the closest living relative of tetrapods. The Coelacanth may still provide answers to some very interesting evolutionary questions.

Coelacanth characteristics
Coelacanths are quite different from all other living fishes. They have an extra lobe on the tail (see bottom image), paired lobed fins, and a vertebral column that is not fully developed. Coelacanths are the only living animals to have a fully functional intercranial joint, which is a division separating the ear and brain from the nasal organs and eye. The intercranial joint allows the front part of the head to be lifted when the fish is feeding. One of the most interesting features of the Coelacanth, is that it has paired fins which move in a similar fashion to our arms and legs.

The Australian Museum Coelacanth
The Australian Museum collection contains one Coelacanth specimen (AMS IB.7555). It was captured off the Comoros Islands, and purchased by the Trustees of the Australian Museum in 1965. The fish was transported to the Western Australian Museum by the US RV Atlantis, where it starred briefly in the Perth media. It was then sent by air to the Australian Museum. Once on display it became affectionately known as the 'wishing fish'. Visitors dropped coins through a small crack in the holding case of the tank and made a wish. Unfortunately after a time the coins discoloured the liquid in the tank, and the practice was stopped. The Coelacanth has been on display in several different exhibitions.



All: Once again, I ask:

What do these "living fossils" have to say about the reliability of the dates that have been attributed to other "fossils"?

Comments? Anyone?
Steveo
Newguy, I have not read the articles you have posted yet, just your questions. I have an annoying homework assignment due tomorrow that I have been working on, as well as spending 3 hours watching the hockey game tonight YAAAAA OILERS!!! Strangly enough my assignment is on logic, and I am finding it kind of difficult....maybe I shouldn't be admitting this eh? hehe.

Anyways, I started reading the first article and sort of guessed where you were going. As I didn't finish I don't know which dating methods were used, so I can't comment specifically about the accuracy, but for oldish fossils like that it might have been uranium dating or something. These dating methods are quite accurate normally, and although mistakes can of course be made, the reliability is quite good. Now, lets also think about humans. We find human fossils all the time (we as in society). We can date them, and compare them with historical records and they are often correct. Dating methods have become so accurate and reliable they are often trusted over historical dates. My suggestion is that these scientists found these specimens in environments they thought did no longer exist. I will try to read the articles and comment further, but in the next few days don't count on it. Some stuff at work needs urgent attention. Having problems with my experiment and I want to find out why, and quantify it. As someone wiser than me once said, if you don't understand it quantitatively, you don't understand it at all.
PuckSR
Actually the results could be perfectly accurate from the radiological dating.
The fact that living organisms that were previously thought to be extinct proves nothing.

Let me see if i can provide a good explanation.

Organism A evolved into organisms A1 and A2.
Organism A1 died off
Organism A2 survived and thrived in a certain habitat.

Organism A2 eventually evolved into organism B.
Organism B evolved into Organism C...etc.

Now, scientists start pouring through the fossil record...and they decide that Organism A evolved into Organism B and later evolved into Organism C.

They dont see any Organisms A still around...so they decide that it died off....
They later discover Organism A....

This doesnt mean anything. Nothing in evolution "requires" that the preceding organism must die off....
The survival of some original species is actually predicted by evolution...and "living fossils" only illustrate our lack of information about the species currently populating the earth.
It also further illustrates the problems with trying to identify "transitional" fossils. Since the timespan of different organisms can(and frequently does) overlap.
newguy
Steveo: Thanks for your intitial reply. My work schedule is extremely hectic for the next 5 days too, so there's no rush. Any further comments, when you have the time, will be appreciated. Talk to you later.
Grumpy
newguy

Evolution does not require a species to change(man exists, yet so do other primates, ranging from gorillas to lemurs). Sharks, rays and crocidilians have changed little from their distant ancestors of millions of years ago. Bacteria show a vast range from very simple(and thus little changed from BILLIONS of years ago) to very complex.

That there is much we have yet to learn about the oceans and remote places of the world is not a real supprise, we are always finding new species of plants and animals, some of which are represented by ancient fossils and were thought to be extinct. It is for reasons like this that a scientist CANNOT say we know everything about anything, because new information can come along at any time, This is what we mean when we say that science cannot claim to be THE "truth", just "true" to the extent of our current knowledge.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

Grumpy cool.gif
newguy
PuckSR & Grumpy: Thanks for your responses. I have some other questions, but they'll have to wait a little...crazy work schedule for the next four days. Grumpy, did you notice that we have the same "feedback" rating? Don't worry...I'm sure I'll do something in the next few minutes that will put you ahead. Talk to you all later.

newguy(the original)
PuckSR
Well dont fret it too much....
This is one of those classic examples of a "creationist" dead-end...

Even most creationists would tell you that this line of questioning really doesnt lead us anywhere....except to question our general understanding of the world....

It definately doesnt effect our understanding of evolution....or conflict with evolution.
It doesnt support Creationism either...it simply points to an animal and says..."oops we thought they were all gone".
newguy
QUOTE (Grumpy+)
Evolution does not require a species to change(man exists, yet so do other primates, ranging from gorillas to lemurs).


Grumpy: Let me start by saying that it's about 2:30 a.m. and I only had about 4 hours of sleep(I'm leaving for work shortly). In other words, I'm a little "groggy". That said, my question for you is this:

Do you believe that the first "living fossil" that I referenced, the Neoglyphea neocaledonica, is a "transitional species" that didn't change? Do you believe that it is a "living fossil" that represents the past evolution of either a shrimp into a mud lobster or vice versa?

That's all the brain power that I have for now. I'll be gone most of the day. I'll look for your answer this evening. Thanks.
PuckSR
QUOTE
Do you believe that the first "living fossil" that I referenced, the Neoglyphea neocaledonica, is a "transitional species" that didn't change? Do you believe that it is a "living fossil" that represents the past evolution of either a shrimp into a mud lobster or vice versa?


Personal belief aside NewGuy....
it wouldnt really matter.

It could be a living fossil...but the entire concept of a transitional fossil is meaningless(kinda).
This thought exercise might help.

I have a car....and I eventually replace every part in that car with new and *different* parts. When does the car become a new car?

It obviously is an old car before i start replacing parts.
It obviously is a new car once all the new parts are installed.
Between new and old it is in a transitional period...and definition is difficult.
If we took a snapshot of the car in-between...we would have a 'transitional' car.
Of course, there were many changes between the old car and the new car....so there were literally thousands of transitional states. To go even further...if i eventually dissambled the 'new' car and reassembled it into a tank....then the transitional forms between new car and old car would be meaningless to the transition between car and tank.

We could go further in this thought experiment...but the best explanation is that a transitional fossil is a fairly subjective term...and you shouldnt concern yourself with it too much
newguy
QUOTE (newguy+)
Do you believe that the first "living fossil" that I referenced, the Neoglyphea neocaledonica, is a "transitional species" that didn't change? Do you believe that it is a "living fossil" that represents the past evolution of either a shrimp into a mud lobster or vice versa?


QUOTE (PuckSR+)
Personal belief aside NewGuy....
it wouldnt really matter.

It could be a living fossil...but the entire concept of a transitional fossil is meaningless(kinda).


PuckSR: As much as I appreciate your input, I fail to see how "the entire concept of a transitional fossil is meaningless(kinda)". People have posted pictures of so-called "transitional fossils" or "missing links" on this forum in the past in an attempt to prove evolution according to the fossil records.

QUOTE (first article on this thread from the first post+)
The Glypheides were well known from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods and were supposed to be extinct at the Eocene (about 50 million years ago).


QUOTE (second article on this thread from the first post+)
French scientists who explored the Coral Sea said Friday they discovered a new species of crustacean that was thought to have become extinct 60 million years ago.


QUOTE (first article on this thread from the first post+)
In fact, the Glypheids were supposed to be the ancestors of all the decapod crustacea.


Since we now KNOW of a certainty that these Glypheids did not go extinct about 50 or 60 million years ago(in other words, some of the "facts" were really "suppositions" and "thoughts"), then isn't it quite possible/plausible that the shrimp, the Neoglyphea neocaledonica and the mud lobster all co-existed, AS THEY NOW PRESENTLY DO, all along? Seems quite possible/plausible to me...once all bias and preconceived notions(or, if you prefer, what you called "personal beliefs") are removed from the actual evidence before us. And what about how "the Glypheids were supposed to be the ancestors of all the decapod crustacea"? Will something else just be randomly put in its previously held place? It seems to me that "creationists" aren't the only ones with a "shoehorn". When "transitional fossils" are missing, then we hear how not all dead things become fossils. On the other hand, if one of these "transitional fossils" is now found to be very much alive, then just insert the "shoehorn" and "VOILA!"..."nothing in evolution 'requires' that the preceding organism must die off". Sounds awful "convenient" and "fluid" to me. And what about the Coelocanth?

QUOTE
The discovery by science of the Coelacanth in 1938 caused so much excitement because at that time Coelacanths were thought to be the ancestors of the tetrapods (land-living animals, including humans).


Now that we KNOW that the Coelocanth was NOT(just another "fact" that was really only a "thought") the "ancestor of the tetrapods(land-living animals, including humans)", what shall we do? Just reach for the "shoehorn" and put something else in its previously held place? Or, would you have me to "believe"(yes, "believe") that the Coelacanth was just another "transitional species" that "wasn't REQUIRED to change"? How about this "possibility"? Coelacanths and humans always co-existed, AS THEY NOW PRESENTLY DO. Isn't that possible/plausible? Seems so to me. And isn't it also possible/plausible that some of the other so-called "transitional fossils" were merely different species that co-existed with the other species that they were supposedly a "link" between? Some of these "missing links" might even still be alive("living fossils") today. Isn't that also a possibility? The point that I'm after, in case you haven't guessed it by now, is that many of the so-called "facts" surrounding the theory of evolution are merely "suppositions" and "thoughts", aren't they? Don't these examples that I've cited and documented give credence to that?

QUOTE (->
QUOTE
The discovery by science of the Coelacanth in 1938 caused so much excitement because at that time Coelacanths were thought to be the ancestors of the tetrapods (land-living animals, including humans).


Now that we KNOW that the Coelocanth was NOT(just another "fact" that was really only a "thought") the "ancestor of the tetrapods(land-living animals, including humans)", what shall we do? Just reach for the "shoehorn" and put something else in its previously held place? Or, would you have me to "believe"(yes, "believe") that the Coelacanth was just another "transitional species" that "wasn't REQUIRED to change"? How about this "possibility"? Coelacanths and humans always co-existed, AS THEY NOW PRESENTLY DO. Isn't that possible/plausible? Seems so to me. And isn't it also possible/plausible that some of the other so-called "transitional fossils" were merely different species that co-existed with the other species that they were supposedly a "link" between? Some of these "missing links" might even still be alive("living fossils") today. Isn't that also a possibility? The point that I'm after, in case you haven't guessed it by now, is that many of the so-called "facts" surrounding the theory of evolution are merely "suppositions" and "thoughts", aren't they? Don't these examples that I've cited and documented give credence to that?

This thought exercise might help.

I have a car....and I eventually replace every part in that car with new and *different* parts. When does the car become a new car?

It obviously is an old car before i start replacing parts.
It obviously is a new car once all the new parts are installed.
Between new and old it is in a transitional period...and definition is difficult.
If we took a snapshot of the car in-between...we would have a 'transitional' car.
Of course, there were many changes between the old car and the new car....so there were literally thousands of transitional states. To go even further...if i eventually dissambled the 'new' car and reassembled it into a tank....then the transitional forms between new car and old car would be meaningless to the transition between car and tank.

We could go further in this thought experiment...but the best explanation is that a transitional fossil is a fairly subjective term...and you shouldnt concern yourself with it too much


Although I understood your car analogy, I think it fails terribly. We all know that several cars made by the same DESIGNER have very similar "parts", don't we? In your analogy, you're ASSUMING("personal belief") that your "new car" is really just a refurbished "old car". Plenty of "new cars" were simply DESIGNED that way, were they not? Anyhow, not to dismiss your viewpoints or to exclude you from the conversation(your thoughts/viewpoints are certainly welcome), I would still like for Grumpy to personally answer the question that I posed to him as he has mentioned "transitional fossils" in the past.
Talk to you later.

P.S. By the way, I got an unexpected day off from work today...that's why I'm around to post. I know I mentioned my hectic work schedule the other day, but it changed.
PuckSR
QUOTE
Since we now KNOW of a certainty that these Glypheids did not go extinct about 50 or 60 million years ago(in other words, some of the "facts" were really "suppositions" and "thoughts")

This isn't quite fair. It is impossible to prove that an animal is extinct, or no longer exists. Any biologist will tell you that we "assume" that an organism is extinct. (Frequently when an assumption is particularly strong...we will quit inserting the word "assume". Such as the assumption that dragons do not exist)

QUOTE (->
QUOTE
Since we now KNOW of a certainty that these Glypheids did not go extinct about 50 or 60 million years ago(in other words, some of the "facts" were really "suppositions" and "thoughts")

This isn't quite fair. It is impossible to prove that an animal is extinct, or no longer exists. Any biologist will tell you that we "assume" that an organism is extinct. (Frequently when an assumption is particularly strong...we will quit inserting the word "assume". Such as the assumption that dragons do not exist)

then isn't it quite possible/plausible that the shrimp, the Neoglyphea neocaledonica and the mud lobster all co-existed, AS THEY NOW PRESENTLY DO, all along?

Common misunderstanding of evolution.
No one would argue that they didnt co-exist. Evolution does not in any way require the extinction of a predecessor. This is very similiar to the argument that if domestic dogs 'evolved' from wolves...then why are there still wolves?

QUOTE
And what about how "the Glypheids were supposed to be the ancestors of all the decapod crustacea"? Will something else just be randomly put in its previously held place?

Absolutely not...
The concept of an ancestor revolves around which one occured first...not which one died first.
My grandmother and I are both still alive....does this mean that my grandmother is not my ancestor?

QUOTE (->
QUOTE
And what about how "the Glypheids were supposed to be the ancestors of all the decapod crustacea"? Will something else just be randomly put in its previously held place?

Absolutely not...
The concept of an ancestor revolves around which one occured first...not which one died first.
My grandmother and I are both still alive....does this mean that my grandmother is not my ancestor?

When "transitional fossils" are missing, then we hear how not all dead things become fossils. On the other hand, if one of these "transitional fossils" is now found to be very much alive, then just insert the "shoehorn" and "VOILA!"..."nothing in evolution 'requires' that the preceding organism must die off". Sounds awful "convenient" and "fluid" to me. And what about the Coelocanth?

It seems convenient because it is true....
You really need to either dispute the claim that fossils do not occur frequently...or you need to dispute the claim that evolution does not require that the ancestor dies off.

QUOTE
The point that I'm after, in case you haven't guessed it by now, is that many of the so-called "facts" surrounding the theory of evolution are merely "suppositions" and "thoughts", aren't they?

Tricky but wrong.
No one can prove an animal is extinct....they can just assume.
They also make assumptions as to the ancesteral line of certain organisms....based on limited information.
They know that some early mammal evolved into a human...
They assume that the current "early mammal" that they have found might be the ancestor...but it could also have been an evolutionary dead-end....and they readily admit that.
They know that apes eventually evolved into humans, chimps, and gorillas.

QUOTE (->
QUOTE
The point that I'm after, in case you haven't guessed it by now, is that many of the so-called "facts" surrounding the theory of evolution are merely "suppositions" and "thoughts", aren't they?

Tricky but wrong.
No one can prove an animal is extinct....they can just assume.
They also make assumptions as to the ancesteral line of certain organisms....based on limited information.
They know that some early mammal evolved into a human...
They assume that the current "early mammal" that they have found might be the ancestor...but it could also have been an evolutionary dead-end....and they readily admit that.
They know that apes eventually evolved into humans, chimps, and gorillas.

Although I understood your car analogy, I think it fails terribly. We all know that several cars made by the same DESIGNER have very similar "parts", don't we? In your analogy, you're ASSUMING("personal belief") that your "new car" is really just a refurbished "old car". Plenty of "new cars" were simply DESIGNED that way, were they not? Anyhow, not to dismiss your viewpoints or to exclude you from the conversation(your thoughts/viewpoints are certainly welcome),

No..it doesn't fail...you just read too much into it..
The only purpose of that "thought experiment" was to point out the obvious difficulty with defining a transitional form. A transition normally implies multiple stages of change. It is important because no single form can define a transition. It wasn't a comment on evolution...it was a comment on defining transitional phases. Just read it as that...and it will make a lot more sense.
newguy
QUOTE (newguy+)
Since we now KNOW of a certainty that these Glypheids did not go extinct about 50 or 60 million years ago(in other words, some of the "facts" were really "suppositions" and "thoughts")


QUOTE (PuckSR+)
This isn't quite fair. It is impossible to prove that an animal is extinct, or no longer exists. Any biologist will tell you that we "assume" that an organism is extinct. (Frequently when an assumption is particularly strong...we will quit inserting the word "assume". Such as the assumption that dragons do not exist)


PuckSR: This isn't intended to be the least bit offensive to you, but you're a newcomer on this forum and, as a result, you probably aren't aware of alot of the conversations that have taken place on this forum in the past. I see that you've met GeneSplicer, though, on another thread. laugh.gif Hi, GeneSplicer. smile.gif Although I am genuinely interested in your viewpoints and I'm more than willing to continue our dialogue, I am, at the same time, particularly curious as to Grumpy's viewpoints on this matter. The reason for this is because Grumpy and I have somewhat of a posting "history". Even if we haven't always been in direct dialogue with each other, I think it is pretty safe to say that we're familiar with each other's posts and beliefs. That being said, is there really such a big difference between making an "assumption" or a "supposition"? Someone will probably cite me some dictionary definitions, but I'm really asking about any differences in the way that we are both using our terms. The reason that I mentioned the past dialogues that have taken place on this forum is because some have asserted in the past that certain aspects of the evolutionary theory are NOT theory but are indeed FACTS! This is what I am really questioning/disputing. In that sense, my dispute isn't really with you...especially since you seem pretty willing to use words such as "impossible" and "assumption".

QUOTE (newguy+)
then isn't it quite possible/plausible that the shrimp, the Neoglyphea neocaledonica and the mud lobster all co-existed, AS THEY NOW PRESENTLY DO, all along?


QUOTE (PuckSR+)
Common misunderstanding of evolution.
No one would argue that they didnt co-exist. Evolution does not in any way require the extinction of a predecessor. This is very similiar to the argument that if domestic dogs 'evolved' from wolves...then why are there still wolves?


First of all, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if some WOULD argue that these three didn't co-exist. The reason that I say that is because if they did co-exist then, as they do now(remember, I said "all along"), then how can you(collectively) prove that there was ever any "transition" at all? I'll address that a little more later on in this post. Additionally, I'm really not misunderstanding evolution...at least not this aspect of it. Perhaps I didn't make my question/statement clear enough. I understand the point that you are making when you say that "evolution does not in any way require the extinction of a predecessor." However, at the same time, wouldn't there need to be a point in time when the "transition" from one species to another began to take place? I'm assuming that you would answer "yes" to this question. If so, then how can anyone prove that some of the so-called "transitional fossils"(Archaeopteryx, for example) are actually "transitional fossils" at all and not just another species that existed at that time? For that matter, how do you know that Archaeopteryx doesn't still exist as another "living fossil"? I'm assuming, based on some of your other responses, that you are willing to concede that you don't KNOW but rather you ASSUME. Just because someone finds a fossil that shares commonalities with two different species does NOT necessarily make it a "transitional fossil". Who's to say it wasn't just a species of its own? Let's start with the present time. Since evolution, if I'm understanding it the way that is has been described many times on this forum, should still be taking place, then let's HYPOTHETICALLY start with the year 2006 and project how the fossil record might look 100,000 years from now(if that's not a long enough timeframe, then just increase the number). Since 100,000 years from now it is quite possible that shrimp, Neoglyphea neocaledonica and mud lobsters might all be found in the fossil record(regardless of what order/layer they're found in), then might someone erroneously conclude that one of these three was a "transitional fossil" between the other two fossils even though all three presently co-exist? Basically, what I'm asking again is:

How do you KNOW(NOT "assume" or conveniently "guess") that these three haven't always co-existed as they do now? Are "transitional fossils" FACTS or ASSUMPTIONS?

QUOTE (newguy+)
And what about how "the Glypheids were supposed to be the ancestors of all the decapod crustacea"? Will something else just be randomly put in its previously held place?


QUOTE (PuckSR+)
Absolutely not...
The concept of an ancestor revolves around which one occured first...not which one died first.
My grandmother and I are both still alive....does this mean that my grandmother is not my ancestor?


Once again, unless you prove as FACT that certain fossils are indeed "transitional", then I don't think your answer is adequate at all. "Transitional fossils" are supposed to be just that...TRANSITIONAL. They have to, of necessity(unless I'm more sleep deprived than I even realize), show themselves to be some sort of "link" between one species and another. If the "link" is removed, then what holds "the chain" together? Wouldn't something else need to take its place? Although you and your grandmother are both alive at the same time, you would have a real hard time convincing me that your grandmother "evolved" from you...especially since she pre-dates you. Since shrimp, Neoglyphea neocaledonica and mud lobsters all PRESENTLY CO-EXIST, then once again I ask:

How do you know that they didn't ALWAYS co-exist? If you're going to tell me because we have older fossil records of Neoglyphea neocaledonica than we do of either shrimp or mud lobsters(in which direction was the supposed "evolution" anyway?), then why can't I counter with the argument that either shrimp or mud lobsters simply didn't leave any fossils? Isn't that the argument that proponents of evolution fall back on at times?

QUOTE (newguy+)
When "transitional fossils" are missing, then we hear how not all dead things become fossils. On the other hand, if one of these "transitional fossils" is now found to be very much alive, then just insert the "shoehorn" and "VOILA!"..."nothing in evolution 'requires' that the preceding organism must die off". Sounds awful "convenient" and "fluid" to me. And what about the Coelocanth?


QUOTE (PuckSR+)
It seems convenient because it is true....
You really need to either dispute the claim that fossils do not occur frequently...or you need to dispute the claim that evolution does not require that the ancestor dies off.


Rather than dispute either "claim", I'll simply say that neither of these two "claims", which you seem to be willing to admit, happen 100% of the time and therefore neither should be considered as FACT but "possibilities", "educated guesses" or "probabilities" at best. Do you agree? Some apparently don't.

QUOTE (newguy+)
The point that I'm after, in case you haven't guessed it by now, is that many of the so-called "facts" surrounding the theory of evolution are merely "suppositions" and "thoughts", aren't they?


QUOTE (PuckSR+)
Tricky but wrong.
No one can prove an animal is extinct....they can just assume.
They also make assumptions as to the ancesteral line of certain organisms....based on limited information.
They know that some early mammal evolved into a human...
They assume that the current "early mammal" that they have found might be the ancestor...but it could also have been an evolutionary dead-end....and they readily admit that.
They know that apes eventually evolved into humans, chimps, and gorillas.


With "assumptions"...

With "limited information"...

Without 100% reliability of everything that dies leaving a fossil...

Without 100% reliability of "transitional fossils" or "transitional species"(some may still be alive, hence "living fossils")...

Then how can you claim that "they" KNOW anything? When did the "assumptions" based upon "limited information" become "knowledge"? I must have missed "the transition". I'm not trying to be rude...I'm simply trying to make a point.

QUOTE (PuckSR+)
Although I understood your car analogy, I think it fails terribly. We all know that several cars made by the same DESIGNER have very similar "parts", don't we? In your analogy, you're ASSUMING("personal belief") that your "new car" is really just a refurbished "old car". Plenty of "new cars" were simply DESIGNED that way, were they not? Anyhow, not to dismiss your viewpoints or to exclude you from the conversation(your thoughts/viewpoints are certainly welcome),


QUOTE (PuckSR+)
No..it doesn't fail...you just read too much into it..
The only purpose of that "thought experiment" was to point out the obvious difficulty with defining a transitional form. A transition normally implies multiple stages of change. It is important because no single form can define a transition. It wasn't a comment on evolution...it was a comment on defining transitional phases. Just read it as that...and it will make a lot more sense.


Once again, if you're willing to admit that there is an "obvious difficulty with defining a transitional form", then how do you KNOW that there really are any? I understood your analogy, but it seems that it only proves the point that I'm attempting to make. The point is this:

Are "transitional fossils/transitional species" FACT or THEORY?

I thank you for the calm, mutually respectful tone of this discussion and I look forward to your responses. I hope you realize that, apart from the articles themselves, these are my own thoughts/questions/disputes and I haven't "borrowed" anything from somebody else's website. Talk to you later. I will be without a computer Saturday(except for a couple of minutes really early in the morning) and the majority of Sunday(except for really late in the evening), so if you don't hear from me for a couple of days, then that is why.
PuckSR
QUOTE
That being said, is there really such a big difference between making an "assumption" or a "supposition"? Someone will probably cite me some dictionary definitions, but I'm really asking about any differences in the way that we are both using our terms. The reason that I mentioned the past dialogues that have taken place on this forum is because some have asserted in the past that certain aspects of the evolutionary theory are NOT theory but are indeed FACTS!

Theory is fact.....
Many parts of evolutionary theory are truly fact....
Here is an analog...hope it helps....
There are meteors, comets, asteroids...this is fact
You find a rock...and you try to figure out if it is a meteorite...
You can never "prove" that it is a meteorite...unless you saw it falling from the sky(and that still doesn't PROVE it). You can, however, determine that it is a meteorite...
How? By testing the composition and structure of the rock.

Alright...so the point....
A fact exists(Evolution | existence of meteorites)
Something is found(fossil | rock)
It is analyzed
An assumption is made as to 'what' it is(where it fits in the tree of life | meteorite or rock)
The fact still exists(evolution happens | meteorites fall to earth)...but the actual determination of what it is may be in question

QUOTE (->
QUOTE
That being said, is there really such a big difference between making an "assumption" or a "supposition"? Someone will probably cite me some dictionary definitions, but I'm really asking about any differences in the way that we are both using our terms. The reason that I mentioned the past dialogues that have taken place on this forum is because some have asserted in the past that certain aspects of the evolutionary theory are NOT theory but are indeed FACTS!

Theory is fact.....
Many parts of evolutionary theory are truly fact....
Here is an analog...hope it helps....
There are meteors, comets, asteroids...this is fact
You find a rock...and you try to figure out if it is a meteorite...
You can never "prove" that it is a meteorite...unless you saw it falling from the sky(and that still doesn't PROVE it). You can, however, determine that it is a meteorite...
How? By testing the composition and structure of the rock.

Alright...so the point....
A fact exists(Evolution | existence of meteorites)
Something is found(fossil | rock)
It is analyzed
An assumption is made as to 'what' it is(where it fits in the tree of life | meteorite or rock)
The fact still exists(evolution happens | meteorites fall to earth)...but the actual determination of what it is may be in question

First of all, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if some WOULD argue that these three didn't co-exist.

Watch...no one will
QUOTE
I understand the point that you are making when you say that "evolution does not in any way require the extinction of a predecessor." However, at the same time, wouldn't there need to be a point in time when the "transition" from one species to another began to take place? I'm assuming that you would answer "yes" to this question. If so, then how can anyone prove that some of the so-called "transitional fossils"(Archaeopteryx, for example) are actually "transitional fossils" at all and not just another species that existed at that time? For that matter, how do you know that Archaeopteryx doesn't still exist as another "living fossil"? I'm assuming, based on some of your other responses, that you are willing to concede that you don't KNOW but rather you ASSUME.

No...your not understanding evolution...
Think back to the dogs....
Some wolves 'evolved' into domestic dogs....
Some wolves stayed wolves
There is no "transition from one species to another". You are thinking that all wolves turned into domestic dogs....or that a certain type of wolf that no longer exists turned into domestic dogs. The entire population of an organism does not evolve.
You cannot prove that an organism doesn't exist anymore....
You also cannot prove that unicorns do not exist.....
Sorry...but it is just simple logic...you cannot prove a negative....
QUOTE (->
QUOTE
I understand the point that you are making when you say that "evolution does not in any way require the extinction of a predecessor." However, at the same time, wouldn't there need to be a point in time when the "transition" from one species to another began to take place? I'm assuming that you would answer "yes" to this question. If so, then how can anyone prove that some of the so-called "transitional fossils"(Archaeopteryx, for example) are actually "transitional fossils" at all and not just another species that existed at that time? For that matter, how do you know that Archaeopteryx doesn't still exist as another "living fossil"? I'm assuming, based on some of your other responses, that you are willing to concede that you don't KNOW but rather you ASSUME.

No...your not understanding evolution...
Think back to the dogs....
Some wolves 'evolved' into domestic dogs....
Some wolves stayed wolves
There is no "transition from one species to another". You are thinking that all wolves turned into domestic dogs....or that a certain type of wolf that no longer exists turned into domestic dogs. The entire population of an organism does not evolve.
You cannot prove that an organism doesn't exist anymore....
You also cannot prove that unicorns do not exist.....
Sorry...but it is just simple logic...you cannot prove a negative....
Once again, unless you prove as FACT that certain fossils are indeed "transitional", then I don't think your answer is adequate at all. "Transitional fossils" are supposed to be just that...TRANSITIONAL. They have to, of necessity(unless I'm more sleep deprived than I even realize), show themselves to be some sort of "link" between one species and another. If the "link" is removed, then what holds "the chain" together? Wouldn't something else need to take its place? Although you and your grandmother are both alive at the same time, you would have a real hard time convincing me that your grandmother "evolved" from you...especially since she pre-dates you

QUOTE
How do you KNOW(NOT "assume" or conveniently "guess") that these three haven't always co-existed as they do now? Are "transitional fossils" FACTS or ASSUMPTIONS?

"Transitional" organisms are fact...
Earlier I was trying to help you with the problem of transitional fossils.
When scientists point to an organism and refer to it as transitional...they dont mean that it is the "missing" link between two other organisms. When scientists refer to a "transitional" organism they simply are referring to the fact that it exhibits the evolution of traits.
i.e. A dinosaur with feathers.....Archaeopteryx
They aren't claiming that it was the "missing link" between birds and dinosaurs...
They are claiming that it demonstrates the evolutionary pathway between birds and dinosaurs. The Archaeopteryx could easily have been a dead end in the evolutionary pathway...but it demonstrates an obvious pathway for evolution(in other words if we know that some dinosaurs had feathers, we know that a dinosaur could have evolved feathers)
Scientists don't even assume that the Archaeopteryx is the ancestor of the modern bird, except in the vague sense that it is probably related to birds(kinda like how Colin Powell is a distant relative to the royal family of England).

Think about the Archaeopteryx this way....
If my grandmother is the dinosaur(LOL), and I am the bird....the Archaeopteryx is one of my grandmother's children. Obviously my aunts and uncles are considered my ancestors even if they arent "directly" in the line of descendents.
In the case of your little crustacean buddies...we now have an interesting oppurtunity.
We can compare the genetic code of all 3 organisms...so we get to learn even more.
The idea of a chain still is incredibly flawed...once again consider it a tree. Some branches grow big and strong...while others end abruptly.

QUOTE (->
QUOTE
How do you KNOW(NOT "assume" or conveniently "guess") that these three haven't always co-existed as they do now? Are "transitional fossils" FACTS or ASSUMPTIONS?

"Transitional" organisms are fact...
Earlier I was trying to help you with the problem of transitional fossils.
When scientists point to an organism and refer to it as transitional...they dont mean that it is the "missing" link between two other organisms. When scientists refer to a "transitional" organism they simply are referring to the fact that it exhibits the evolution of traits.
i.e. A dinosaur with feathers.....Archaeopteryx
They aren't claiming that it was the "missing link" between birds and dinosaurs...
They are claiming that it demonstrates the evolutionary pathway between birds and dinosaurs. The Archaeopteryx could easily have been a dead end in the evolutionary pathway...but it demonstrates an obvious pathway for evolution(in other words if we know that some dinosaurs had feathers, we know that a dinosaur could have evolved feathers)
Scientists don't even assume that the Archaeopteryx is the ancestor of the modern bird, except in the vague sense that it is probably related to birds(kinda like how Colin Powell is a distant relative to the royal family of England).

Think about the Archaeopteryx this way....
If my grandmother is the dinosaur(LOL), and I am the bird....the Archaeopteryx is one of my grandmother's children. Obviously my aunts and uncles are considered my ancestors even if they arent "directly" in the line of descendents.
In the case of your little crustacean buddies...we now have an interesting oppurtunity.
We can compare the genetic code of all 3 organisms...so we get to learn even more.
The idea of a chain still is incredibly flawed...once again consider it a tree. Some branches grow big and strong...while others end abruptly.

How do you know that they didn't ALWAYS co-exist? If you're going to tell me because we have older fossil records of Neoglyphea neocaledonica than we do of either shrimp or mud lobsters(in which direction was the supposed "evolution" anyway?), then why can't I counter with the argument that either shrimp or mud lobsters simply didn't leave any fossils? Isn't that the argument that proponents of evolution fall back on at times?

Fall back on? Your referring to the pre-cambrian explosion...or the dawn of the exoskeleton.
We generally assume that organisms evolve, rather than devolve...
while devolution is possible and has occured....its generally a safe bet(but they still add further evidence in support)
Shrimp, mud lobsters, and all other crestacians leave fossils. They all have exoskeletons. Also, they tend to be rather plentiful(like mollusks) and so we have many fossils.

QUOTE
Rather than dispute either "claim", I'll simply say that neither of these two "claims", which you seem to be willing to admit, happen 100% of the time and therefore neither should be considered as FACT but "possibilities", "educated guesses" or "probabilities" at best. Do you agree? Some apparently don't.

You're seriously maligning the word "Fact".
It is a fact that people die in car accidents...
but obviously it doesnt happen 100% of the time...
So "people die in car accidents" should just be a possibility?
No....

Now...if we make the statement differently...such as
IF you get into a car accident you will die...then I would agree that it is a possibility or an assumption...
However...no one is making a specific argument...but instead a general statement with both of those "claims"

QUOTE (->
QUOTE
Rather than dispute either "claim", I'll simply say that neither of these two "claims", which you seem to be willing to admit, happen 100% of the time and therefore neither should be considered as FACT but "possibilities", "educated guesses" or "probabilities" at best. Do you agree? Some apparently don't.

You're seriously maligning the word "Fact".
It is a fact that people die in car accidents...
but obviously it doesnt happen 100% of the time...
So "people die in car accidents" should just be a possibility?
No....

Now...if we make the statement differently...such as
IF you get into a car accident you will die...then I would agree that it is a possibility or an assumption...
However...no one is making a specific argument...but instead a general statement with both of those "claims"

Then how can you claim that "they" KNOW anything? When did the "assumptions" based upon "limited information" become "knowledge"? I must have missed "the transition". I'm not trying to be rude...I'm simply trying to make a point.

Your argument is very true...they cannot know anything 100%....
but then again...I would like you to point me towards a fact that we know 100%
I will give you a helping hand....read up on the guy who invented the Cartesian coordinate system.

QUOTE
Are "transitional fossils/transitional species" FACT or THEORY?

Go back to my car analogy(actually a stolen analogy about a boat)....
Transitional forms of the car obviously exist....The problem is that no single form is THE transitional form.

If Evolution is true(which it is) then transitional forms must exist. Unless organisms have magically changed from one species to another...transitional forms must exist. The argument you are making, however, is that transitional forms are difficult to define...therefore they may not exist..
This is obviously false.

Also...please quit referring to the difference between fact and theory...
Unless you would like to wax poetic about the works of Descartes....
newguy
PuckSR: I just read your reply. I don't have time to fully respond now. I will do my best to respond soon, but it probably won't be before Monday. Talk to you later.
Grumpy
New guy

I have been reading your exchanges with PuckSR and his analogy of the old car to a new car gives the general idea.

I would say that they are ALL transitional. Every creature in the fossil record has a predicessor that had significant differences from it, it also has descendents that have great differences from it. Every creature is between what it once was(as a species) and what it will become.

As for the living fossils, there is nothing in evolutionary theory that says a root species must become extinct. A classic example is the eland in Africa. I do not know all of the details but an eland is the root species for ALL of the deer species in the world, yet it still exists. A wolf is the root species for ALL dogs, yet we still have wolves and they do exist side by side. But if we go back in the fossil record more than 15,000 years we find NO dogs anywhere. The fossil record of man as an upright species goes back more than 4.5 million years, as do the (limited) fossil records of chimps and gorillas, several partial(and uncertain) fossils give a tentative date of seperation of some 8 million years where some of the primates evolved toward men as others evolved toward apes. Men(and the higher primates have not been found beyond those tentative dates, if we go back 65 million years the ONLY mammals to be found in the fossil records are rodent like mammals simular to that recently found(as in your post).

Science is always "to the best of our present understanding" and is subject to change given new knowledge or understanding, does that make science "wrong"?

No, just not 100% certain. But as we learn more and find more info it tends to get more certain, closer to the "truth" if you will. Newton saw the apple fall and formulated a theory of gravity. Einstein came along and showed how Newton had gotten it wrong. But Newton's theory works 99.9% of the time, it is only under extremes of speed or gravity that it is inadequite and we must depend on Einsteins equations instead. Newton got it mostly right(for all practical purposes), Einstein just "sharpened the pencil" so to say.

Grumpy cool.gif
newguy
Grumpy: I've only got a moment... I read your post. I wont be able to respond for a couple of days, though. Talk to you later. Thanks.

newguy(always in "transition"...newerguy?)
newguy
QUOTE (Grumpy+)
As for the living fossils, there is nothing in evolutionary theory that says a root species must become extinct. A classic example is the eland in Africa. I do not know all of the details but an eland is the root species for ALL of the deer species in the world, yet it still exists. A wolf is the root species for ALL dogs, yet we still have wolves and they do exist side by side. But if we go back in the fossil record more than 15,000 years we find NO dogs anywhere. The fossil record of man as an upright species goes back more than 4.5 million years, as do the (limited) fossil records of chimps and gorillas, several partial(and uncertain) fossils give a tentative date of seperation of some 8 million years where some of the primates evolved toward men as others evolved toward apes. Men(and the higher primates have not been found beyond those tentative dates, if we go back 65 million years the ONLY mammals to be found in the fossil records are rodent like mammals simular to that recently found(as in your post).


Grumpy: Thanks again for your reply. I hope you don't mind if I change the order of a couple of your quotes without changing your intended meanings. I just don't want to "put the cart before the horse", so to speak. First of all, I fully understand the point that you and PuckSR are making in regards to a "root species" not having to become extinct(I got it the first time). I hope we can move beyond that so that I can get a satisfactory answer to my real question which is this:

How do you know that these similar species ever represented any "transition" at all and that they didn't simply ALWAYS co-exist, side by side?

It seems to me that you are saying that since we have older fossils of some of these species and since species that appear later on in the fossil records have some similarities to these earlier species as well as some differences, then this MUST indicate a "transition" from the earlier species to the latter species. I know that was a long sentence, but is that what you are saying? If it is, then why can't the explanation to this seeming "transition" simply be one of the following:

1. Both species ALWAYS co-existed side by side but we just haven't found any fossils of the latter species YET that are as old as the fossils of the former species. Isn't this a possibility? The earth is pretty big, you know. They can't even find Jimmy Hoffa's body and they're still looking for it to this day.

2. Both species ALWAYS co-existed side by side but the species that seems to be the latter of the two species simply didn't leave any earlier fossils. Isn't this also a possibility? It seems that it is, if I'm understanding this whole "fossilization" process correctly.

Wouldn't these "living fossil" examples that I listed have to fall into one of these two categories? These species were presumed to be extinct for MILLIONS OF YEARS, weren't they? Doesn't this indicate that no fossils were found of these species representing this MILLIONS OF YEARS timeframe or that these species left no fossils during these MILLIONS OF YEARS? Do you understand my questions? If not, then please ask for clarification.

QUOTE (Grumpy+)
I have been reading your exchanges with PuckSR and his analogy of the old car to a new car gives the general idea.

I would say that they are ALL transitional. Every creature in the fossil record has a predicessor that had significant differences from it, it also has descendents that have great differences from it. Every creature is between what it once was(as a species) and what it will become.


Again, I ask, where is the "proof" of this? How do you know that these so-called "transitional species" were even "transitional" at all?

QUOTE (Grumpy+)
Science is always "to the best of our present understanding" and is subject to change given new knowledge or understanding, does that make science "wrong"?

No, just not 100% certain. But as we learn more and find more info it tends to get more certain, closer to the "truth" if you will. Newton saw the apple fall and formulated a theory of gravity. Einstein came along and showed how Newton had gotten it wrong. But Newton's theory works 99.9% of the time, it is only under extremes of speed or gravity that it is inadequite and we must depend on Einsteins equations instead. Newton got it mostly right(for all practical purposes), Einstein just "sharpened the pencil" so to say.


Unless you have further "proof" that these "transitional species" were even "transitional" at all, then would you be willing to say that these "transitional species" are not FACT, but rather "assumptions", "educated guesses" or "suppositions"? You may indeed have other "proof". If so, then I'd like to see it. Please don't go off on a tangent, though. I only have limited time and I like to concentrate on one thing at a time if possible. Thanks.
Steveo
Newguy,

Just a quick addition to the topic. Things have been crazy around here lately, so I haven't been on (or even thought about) physorg in a while, and probably won't get back on for a few more days at the earliest. With all of these species, and transitional fossils and whatnot we also have DNA to use. Now, to me, transitional seems to be a relative term. Homo Erectus (not sure if I am correct totally, but its an example) would be a transitional hominid to humans from earlier primates. It is the transition between primates to humans (or part of it). Now, if 10 million years in the future part of the human race evolved into something different and more successful homo Sapien Sapiens would be the transitional species. Evolution is not a discrete process, and things are always evolving, sometimes slow, and sometimes fast, so transition is not an absolute concept. Also, things can be found in DNA (if the DNA can be found) and relative timelines can be constructed as to when different species started to diverge. I would imagine (hope) that their conclusions about these fossils were based on a correlation between many things, and not just a handful of species in the fossil record. It has been my experience with scientific literature that everything is not always written. The journals have space constraints, and some scientists like to be semi secretive, even though if the flow of information was much more open science would progress faster. It would be tough to put in great detail how everything was correlated to come to their conclusion, and most likely (I hope) only the strongest arguements are posted, and the weaker ones are left out because of space limitations. I know with many physics papers in certain journals your limited to 4 pages including references (which often take up half of a page). Its tough to explain all of the details of an experiment in that little amount of room, so usually the experimental methods are briefly summarized, and then the results and conclusions are emphasized. This is both good and bad......bad if your trying to recreate something, but good if you are interested, but don't want to read a 300 page document. And for that same reason, thats why things are referenced. Many physics papers have 20 or more references, so instead of explaining something that has been explained by someone else, they just tell you where it was said and if your interested you can find it on your own.
Now, all of that is for scientific journals. Science writing in the normal media is butchered even more. Its really difficult to tell how thorough some research is from the regular media. Many articles on physorg I have read make me frustrated because you really get a false idea of what was actually done I find.
Grumpy
newguy

Not to belabor the point but the fossil record is not a small sample. If we added up the weights of all the fossils ever found it would have to be measured in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of TONS. Even then we do not have a complete movie of all of evolution. Many species live in deep water which rarely is conducive to fossilization, some live in rainforrests which also is not condusive to fossilization(hence our relative lack of most ape species EXCEPT man(who lived on the plains)).

Yes, parent and daughter species often live side by side, that is reflected in the fossil record. What we do not find is daughter species existing before parent species(if we go into the past more than 15,000 years we find NO dogs, though we continue to find the same numbers of wolves. It would only take one dog fossil before that period to "Falsify" the entire analysis of the wolf/dog line.)

A favorite "transitional" fossil is the Archeopteryx because the fossil shows skeletal features and teeth of the therapod dinosaurs and it also has the flight feathers and wings resembling modern birds. It is not a fake(several have been found) and it is clearly half way between raptor dinos and birds. It may or may not be on the direct line between the two(it may be a dead end and other, more birdlike species seem to have been it's favorite food) but it is far from the only fossil dinosaur with feathers(flight or otherwise).

The paleoentologists have studied the fossil record extensively. While they can and do make mistakes the sheer numbers of specimens does give a good record of when various species show up in the time line. They can, with good confidence, show when the various species show up because they do not see them earlier in the fossil record. It is not likely that if they had always existed they would NEVER leave a fossil until after a certain point, there would always be a few, we don't see any.

The latest large transition was about 65 million years ago. Before then we see large dinosaurs(T-Rex, etc), after we don't. Before, all the mammals we see are small and can easily hide, after there was an explosion in the types and sizes of all mammals(and some birds). Not only did man not coexist with dinosaurs, neither did wolves, cows or cats. The only mammals were a lot like the oppossom, only smaller. They were our ancestors(as well as the ancestors of all the other mammals, even the whales and dolphins and seals).

Grumpy cool.gif
Steveo
To add to grumpy's post, which was very good. Where the fossils show up in the geological record is very important. Some fossils are found in particular layers of rock, and if certain fossils were to be found in lower layers the theory of evolution would have to be completely retooled, if not thrown out. I was doing a bit of reading in a book about the history of technology and science lastnight, and was on the section on Charles Darwin. His theory was very controversial when he first published, and his main opponents were physicists....because of his claim for a very old earth. It was later found that the physicists were very wrong, and he was more correct. His theory made many predictions, that later, with the understanding of heredity and genetics where understood to be correct. Its quite amazing at how many times his theory has stood up, and agreed with more modern science.
newguy
Steveo: I do have other questions/statements for both you and Grumpy, but today turned out to be alot more hectic than I originally thought. For now, I'll just say: GO OILERS!
Steveo
QUOTE
Steveo: I do have other questions/statements for both you and Grumpy, but today turned out to be alot more hectic than I originally thought. For now, I'll just say: GO OILERS!


I welcome the questions/statements. Today for me ended up being much less hectic....during the day anyways. GO OILERS is right. Hehehe.....its such an exciting time around Edmonton. Most cars are decorated with Oilers flags....and after each win we get an entertaining report (more sad and pathetic really) the next day about the idiots who start bonfires on the streets to celebrate the win. To bad there are idiots in this world who ruin it for everyone else. Now some citizens want the police to use "military precision" to deal with these problems, or enforce temporary prohibition. I love it when a handful of people's bad behavior is enough for people to suggest taking away our rights and freedoms. Ain't fear great?
newguy
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200705/s1928178.htm

Monday, May 21, 2007. 9:20am (AEST)

A rare coelacanth was netted off Sulawesi


user posted image

Indonesian fishermen net rare coelacanth
A report from Indonesia says fishermen have caught a rare coelacanth in waters off Sulawesi island.

The Antara news agency says the fish, about one metre long, was caught in nets off the North Sulawesi capital of Manado on Saturday (local time) and died a few hours later.

Coelacanths are among the world's oldest fish species. Their fossil records date back more than 360 million years and suggest the animal has changed little in that time.

They reached peak abundance about 240 million years ago, but were thought to have died out around the time that dinosaurs became extinct - until a coelacanth was caught off the Commoro islands in South Africa in 1938.

A few have since been caught in waters along the eastern African coastline, and several have been captured north of Manado.

Coelacanths, closely related to lungfishes, usually live at depths of between 200 and 1,000 metres. They can grow up to two metres in length and weigh as much as 91 kilograms.

But the fish, sometimes referred to as a "living fossil," otherwise remains an enigma for scientists, and it is not known why Saturday's find was caught in nets so close to the surface.


"Enigma"? Why? The fish is simply the same as it always was.

P.S. The photo I used was found here:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/disco...indonesia_N.htm

GeneSplicer
I believe they mean the Coelacanth is an enigma much as the giant squid was and still is in many aspect of its life.

The Coelacanth went undiscovered for so long since they live is such deep waters. Since they are evidently rare, hard to find and have not been observed in their natural habitat, little is know about them outside of what can be determined from their carcasses.
newguy
QUOTE (GeneSplicer+)
The Coelacanth went undiscovered for so long since they live is such deep waters. Since they are evidently rare, hard to find and have not been observed in their natural habitat, little is know about them outside of what can be determined from their carcasses.


GeneSplicer: As an FYI, the coelacanth has been filmed on video on at least two different occasions. You can read the account of the first filming in October 2000 and see a couple of still photos on the following website:

http://fishwatch.tripod.com/coelacanth/philarticle.htm

If you want to see some actual video footage, then you can check out the following links. The last one from YouTube provides the best footage, although the audio is in Japanese. Take care.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQMm5HN1Ums...related&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv0qsoIPmyM

GeneSplicer
Thanks for the links. I didn’t know they had filmed them in the wild.

Interesting how in one of the videos they mention how they think that the African and Indonesian Coelacanths are different species.
PuckSR
Seriously, this is getting very redundant....

There are several species of Coelacanth, and most were thought to be extinct.
The fossils we had were a shallow-water fish that might have been a predecessor to the first amphibious organisms.....

They discovered later that certain deep water species had survived to the present time. This was interesting, but hardly revolutionary.
1. This is still not extremely old....crocodiles are considered even older(100s of millions of years without change)
2. We dont find fossils of deep marine organisms, so assuming an animal is extinct because you can find any evidence of its modern existence is a fairly safe assumption.

Why did you even bother to start this up again.
newguy
QUOTE (PuckSR+)
Seriously, this is getting very redundant....

There are several species of Coelacanth, and most were thought to be extinct.
The fossils we had were a shallow-water fish that might have been a predecessor to the first amphibious organisms.....


PuckSR: I was wondering what you've been doing in your absence from this forum. Apparently, you've been rewriting history. ALL SPECIES OF COELACANTHS were originally claimed by promoters of evolution to be extinct. Additionally, they never said that they "might have been a predecessor to the first amphibious organisms" UNTIL recent Coelacanths showed up in the same exact form as those that supposedly went extinct millions of years ago. They used to be one of those "missing links" and have since been reassigned the title of "evolutionary dead ends". So what are you talking about?

QUOTE (PuckSR+)
Why did you even bother to start this up again.


Because another Coelacanth was found a couple of days ago AND to bring you out of retirement, of course. Have a nice day.
photojack
newguy, Here is a breakdown of the coelacanth discoveries of BOTH species from wikipedia. It nicely shows how frequently wikipedia is updated. biggrin.gif

1938 (December 23) Discovery of the first modern coelacanth 30km SW of East London, South Africa.
1952 (December 21) Second specimen identified in the Comoros. Since then more than 200 have been caught around the islands.
1988 First photographs of coelacanths in their natural habitat, by Hans Fricke off Grand Comore.
1991 First coelacanth identified near Mozambique, 24km offshore NE of Quelimane.
1995 First recorded coelacanth on Madagascar, 30km S of Tuléar.
1997 (September 18) New species of coelacanth found in Indonesia.
2000 A group found by divers off Sodwana Bay, South Africa.
2001 A group found off the coast of Kenya.
2003 First coelacanth caught by fisherman in Tanzania. Within the year, 22 were caught in total.
2004 Canadian researcher William Sommers captured the largest recorded specimen of coelacanth off the coast of Madagascar.
2007 (May 19) Indonesian fisherman Justinus Lahama caught a 4 feet long, 110 pound coelacanth off Sulawesi Island near Bunaken National Marine Park that survived for 17 hours in a quarantined pool .

newguy, You are arguing points of semantics and not seeing the broad picture. dry.gif I have heard of all sharks being called "living fossils." That is because there are few changes in their morphology for a known period of millions of years. The coelacanth was similarly labeled, only because the deep sea areas they frequent were not explored or sampled by man until that fateful day in 1938. They obviously existed as a line of descent throughout that entire period. A parallel in the plant world was Ginkgo biloba, known only from fossils until Western man found the Chinese growing them in monastery gardens. NONE OF THIS BRINGS ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER TO EVOLUTION. dry.gif An organism known from fossils can die out as a side-branch, evolve into subsequent species and be called a "missing link" or be rediscovered later, still virtually unchanged much like sharks or the coelacanth. All of that can be explained perfectly with evolution as Darwin conceived it in 1859. tongue.gif Nothing major has changed. Every new fossil discovery and every new species discovered bolsters his original theory with additional evidence and proof. What is your point of contention with that? blink.gif
Rusty Shackleford
@newguy:

It is obvious that you have a bright mind, and I feel your questions are reasonable. The problem I am having here is where to start with the answers to your questions. It seems that your understanding of evolution is flawed. You started your journey towards understanding evolution on the wrong foot, so to speak. In order to make you understand, I feel like I would have to re-explain evolution from the beginning. I would have to tell you to forget what you think you know, and start over. In other words, I feel that you have traveled so far in the wrong direction, I feel it would be easier for you start over. Part of the problem is you have absorbed misinformation. Another part of the problem is the complexity of the answers to your questions. These are complex questions and you are looking for simple answers. Scientists spend their entire lives learning the knowledge required to understand and show the "proof" of evolution. It is impossible for the layperson to fully understand all the intricate details involved without spending years in study of evolution. IMPOSSIBLE!

My suggestion to you is that if you truly seek to understand evolution, you need to read more about it, you don't fully grasp the concept yet. However, I suspect that you are not really even trying to understand evolution, but are merely trying to tear it down because you perceive it as a threat to your world view. In this case, I would really like to hear what theory you would advance in it's place. Goddidit will not do. I want to hear an ID theory that fits at least as well with the modern body of physical observational knowledge as the theory of evolution does. Until such a theory is advanced, evolutionary theory does not have holes in it, your understanding of it does.


On the issue of coelocanths, this one is actually pretty simple. The species that is living today is not a direct ancestor of modern land vertebrates. It is the only known living representative of a group of fishes from which land vertebrates evolved. The group was once widely distributed, but now has been largely displaced by more modern species. From the evidence, it appeared that this once prosperous group died out millions of years ago, but it turns out that a few species managed to find a niche and hang on till present times. It just shows how science is willing to admit when it was wrong, and adapt to the new information. Maybe scientists should have followed the Church's example: Profess infallibility, and suppress any evidence contrary to your position. In fact, if the claims of some Creationists were true, there would be an active conspiracy by scientists to cover up the existence of living coelocanths.
PuckSR
QUOTE
PuckSR: I was wondering what you've been doing in your absence from this forum. Apparently, you've been rewriting history. ALL SPECIES OF COELACANTHS were originally claimed by promoters of evolution to be extinct. Additionally, they never said that they "might have been a predecessor to the first amphibious organisms" UNTIL recent Coelacanths showed up in the same exact form as those that supposedly went extinct millions of years ago. They used to be one of those "missing links" and have since been reassigned the title of "evolutionary dead ends". So what are you talking about?


Well, Rusty made a rather clear post....and hopefully you took the time to read it.


A couple of mistakes that you made however....
1. Yes, originally all species were thought to be extinct....now MOST species are thought to be extinct.
2. As Rusty pointed out, Coelacanths had long been considered an example of a fish that might have evolved into an amphibian(given its fin structure)...this was true before they discovered the modern Coelacanths.
3. The modern Coelacanths are DIFFERENT(and drastically so) from the extinct ones.
4. I am completely unaware of a transition from "missing link" to "evolutionary dead end".

You do realize that one species can continue to survive while its evolutionary descendents can come to prominence.
It's a silly argument to say otherwise, similar to saying that "if humans evolved from Apes...why are there still apes?"
photojack
newguy, From my propensity to use bibliotherapy (absolutely no relevance to the Bible, but books in general) rolleyes.gif, I would like to suggest that you and all others who would question the veracity of evolution (Mr. Robin Parsons dry.gif), read two articles from wikipedia.

Introduction to Evolution. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introduction_to_evolution

History of Science. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_science

These will bring people up to somewhere near a high school level of understanding of science in general and evolution in particular. Then maybe we can continue with something approaching the level one would expect on a science forum. smile.gif

Key points of evolution.
1. Evolution does not necessarily make lifeforms more "advanced", more intelligent, or more sophisticated. For example, fleas are descended from a winged, ancestral scorpionfly to become wingless parasites, and snakes are lizards that have lost the use for limbs.
2. Evolution does not mean "progress" towards an ultimate goal; in fact, evolution is not goal-driven. Organisms are merely the outcome of mutations that succeed or fail, dependent upon the environmental conditions at that time.
3. Humans don't have a special place at the top of the evolutionary tree. We are merely one of many branches.
4. Evolution is not just something that has happened, resulting in the species we see today. It is a basic process of biology and is continuing.
5. Evolution is not a random process for creating new life forms. Mutations are (partly) random, but natural selection is far from random.
6. The scientific theory of biological evolution does not directly include the processes of stellar evolution or geological change. The Big Bang theory and the formation of the solar system are not parts of the theory of evolution.
7. Evolution does not attempt to describe the process which brought forth life on earth (such as abiogenesis or some other method).
8. Populations, not individuals, evolve; evolution does not describe how a child matures into an adult, or how a tree grows from a seed.
9. The use of the word "theory" in the "theory" of evolution does not imply that evolution is any less well accepted or less supported by evidence than any other scientific theory, including the theory of gravity or the theory of quantum mechanics. A theory is a well-supported explanation for a given set of data, not a mere hypothesis.
10. Evolution does not state that humans are descended from monkeys, or that human ancestors were monkeys. However, evolution implies that humans and present-day monkeys share a common ancestor.
11. It is often claimed that evolution has never been observed. This is incorrect. Evolution has been observed in the laboratory and in the wild. The records of evolution in the past are found in fossils.
12. It is sometimes claimed that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics, as it increases the level of order. However, as the earth is not a closed system (notably it continually absorbs energy from the sun), there is no violation of the law.
13. It is sometimes claimed that there is no evidence for evolution. This is incorrect. Evolution is supported by an immense body of scientific evidence. There is as much or more evidence for evolution as for any other scientific theory.
14. There is no serious disagreement among biological scientists about the validity of evolution. Though some aspects of evolution, such as the mechanisms and processes that drive it, are subject to some professional debate, more than 99.9% ohmy.gif of all professional biological scientists support evolution. It is the foundation of the research conducted in all fields of biology. From wikipedia.

The mid-term exam will be on "hump day" the 23rd of May. Bring a sharpened #2 pencil and no notes will be allowed! biggrin.gif
procyon
Your impeccable logic dictates that no fossil could be more than 6500 years old. Well done.
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