Creation and Evolution - Legacy thread

Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
edited February 26 in Dead Horses
Here is a link to The Death of Darwinism on the old website.

Feel free to add to this thread or start a new thread on a subset of the overall topic
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  • The5thMaryThe5thMary Shipmate
    ...crickets...
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Either the diehard creationists failed to follow us over, or they're too busy fanning other flames.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Either the diehard creationists failed to follow us over, or they're too busy fanning other flames.
    They evolved to become die hard something-else-ists.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Either the diehard creationists failed to follow us over, or they're too busy fanning other flames.
    They evolved to become die hard something-else-ists.

    How many boxes would you like to tick on that one? I hope that more than one option is available.
  • There are several options available;
    they could be a Die Hard
    you could be a Die Hard Too
    perhaps Die Hard With a Vengeance
    some prefer to Live Free and Die Hard
    while others consider it a Good Day to Die Hard
  • ThatcherightThatcheright Shipmate
    I have just finished reading the whole of the Death of Darwinism thread in the old place (I know! I was bored on holiday). Something tickled me; someone wrote…

    Mutation + Natural Selection = Evolution.

    I agree with this. In fact evolution, as defined in this way is irreducibly complex! Take anything away and it no longer works.

    How annoying that must be to the YEC IDiots.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    It's a really good thread; particularly the challenging exchanges re Intelligent Design. But I suspect YEC or Intelligent Design proponents now post where they don't have to cope with the challenge.

    Not sure we're going to get much action here in the future, but no harm in leaving it open.
  • I have a question if I may be bold.

    So, I am rereading Bill Bryson's excellent though a little out of date now A Short History of Nearly Everything. A book guaranteed to get anti-Evolutionists and YECists frothing at each turn of the page. I cannot recommend it too highly.

    I am at the chapter on the Alvarez Hypothesis of the large asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs, which is fine and dandy. But in the Big Bumper Thread of Darwinism in the other place, it was stated that dinosaurs evolved into birds.

    Now, is the difference between which got the old evolutionary heave-ho and which got feathers simply down to their original size? Big ones go bye-bye and small ones go fly(-fly sorry couldn't resist).

    Or was there some other explanation?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    No, it's quite normal for smaller animals to survive events that kill larger ones. They can hide away more easily, make use of different food sources. It may also be that the birds (which had already existed for tens of millions of years by the time of the K-T event) were already actively homeothermic which may have helped with adapting to climate change. As would shorter lifecycles which can allow for faster evolution.

    Just hypotheses of the top of my head.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »

    Well bugger me, that's pretty much what I hypothesised.
  • ThatcherightThatcheright Shipmate
    edited July 13
    Size is what I had guessed but not being an expert I knew where to come!

    Although...

    I have just read the bit on super-volcanos in the book with the long title I mentioned above and cannot be bothered to type out again except I have probably just typed more (bugger!), where there was a super volcanic event in India called the Deccan Traps that happened at about the same time* and added a shed-load of ash into the atmosphere as well as what got chucked up from the asteroid.

    Just to turn the thread back on itself for a second, once is unfortunate but twice is careless! God really didn't want those bloody oversized slow-worms roaming around did He?

    Anyway, thank you.

    *Geologically and Cosmologically speaking any road
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    He'd let them crawl around for some 150 million years - over twice the length of time since their extinction. On balance he seems pretty keen on them.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    He'd let them crawl around for some 150 million years - over twice the length of time since their extinction. On balance he seems pretty keen on them.

    Fair point. I suppose evolutionary-wise they may not have been going anywhere though. In any case it was an asteroid compounded with volcanic activity that did for them rather than the finger, having wrote, moving on.

    Makes you think though, as Karl said they had 150 million years of dominance, we have had what as humans? Ten, twenty? And yet they hadn't evolved to anything beyond big herbivores for the most part. Then they were gone except for those who evolved to be us what we see around us today.

    Anyway I just got thinking when I was reading.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    It's all right there in the "Jurassic Park" series of films.
    (wink)

    PS If you post any spoilers about the recently-released one, please put them in a spoiler box. Thx!
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    He'd let them crawl around for some 150 million years - over twice the length of time since their extinction. On balance he seems pretty keen on them.

    Fair point. I suppose evolutionary-wise they may not have been going anywhere though. In any case it was an asteroid compounded with volcanic activity that did for them rather than the finger, having wrote, moving on.

    Makes you think though, as Karl said they had 150 million years of dominance, we have had what as humans? Ten, twenty? And yet they hadn't evolved to anything beyond big herbivores for the most part. Then they were gone except for those who evolved to be us what we see around us today.

    Anyway I just got thinking when I was reading.

    As humans? Depending on what you're willing to class as human, between a couple of million and a couple of hundred thousand. A blink of an eye. We know little of what dinosaurs achieved but I'm not aware they evolved the ability to destroy their environment and every living creature in it and call it peace and security.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    When people start talking about how certain animals are almost as smart as humans, but haven't really done any thing, I think of this:

    “For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (goodreads)
  • Golden Key wrote: »
    When people start talking about how certain animals are almost as smart as humans, but haven't really done any thing, I think of this:

    “For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (goodreads)

    The problem is that dolphins - for all their supposed cleverness - are regularly caught and killed by fishermen. So dolphins are actually less smart than fishermen.

    Do you suppose those fishermen have advanced degrees? A PhD in oceanography? A Masters degree in Fishing? Or is it more than likely that they are not really well educated people and have a demanding manual job in harsh conditions because they don't have the basic qualifications to do anything else?

    Oh I'm sure you will find the odd fisherman who reads Proust or textbooks on Cosmology, but I bet most of them are not well educated. Perhaps even - dare we say it - a bit thick?

    So dolphins are outsmarted, caught and killed by manual labourers. Nah, dolphins are not that bright.

    As Bill Bryson said "if life had not left the oceans there would still be life but not baseball".

    Or books on Proust or Cosmology.
  • The problem is that dolphins - for all their supposed cleverness - are regularly caught and killed by fishermen. So dolphins are actually less smart than fishermen.

    People are regularly killed by spiders, snakes, bacteria, viruses et al. Are they all smarter than humans?
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Fair point. I suppose evolutionary-wise they may not have been going anywhere though.
    Evolution isn't about going anywhere. It is a description organisms changing over time and the mechanisms of that change. Successful organisms are successful because their abilities match their environment. Too much change in either them of their environment and its lights out. At the moment, the odds of us being more successful than the dinosaurs is in doubt.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    The problem is that dolphins - for all their supposed cleverness - are regularly caught and killed by fishermen. So dolphins are actually less smart than fishermen.
    Dolphins are likely less smart than humans. However, intelligence is not a completely linear or easily comparable thing.

  • Adaptation to local environmental conditions. There is no direction. Some organisms become less complex, some become more complex.

    Intelligence. Haven't any of you met "book smart" people who can tell you all kinds of interesting things, but cannot for the life of themselves organize anything at all in their personal existence, can't reason their way through a simple mechanical repair, but may anticipate and improvise music. etc

    Knowing of course that intelligence was first defined as ability to be successful at school. Unitary G, lots of little g's. May I suggest The Mismeasure of Man (Stephan Jay Gould) which can be got used for cheap if you want a good primer on uses and misuses. Required reading for psychometrics class in grad school when I taught it.

    If you want to understand the nondirection of evolution, which means neither toward complexity nor simplicity, by the same author Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Fair point. I suppose evolutionary-wise they may not have been going anywhere though.
    Evolution isn't about going anywhere. It is a description organisms changing over time and the mechanisms of that change. Successful organisms are successful because their abilities match their environment. Too much change in either them of their environment and its lights out. At the moment, the odds of us being more successful than the dinosaurs is in doubt.
    Evolution is going to ever greater complexity. That's somewhere.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Fair point. I suppose evolutionary-wise they may not have been going anywhere though.
    Evolution isn't about going anywhere. It is a description organisms changing over time and the mechanisms of that change. Successful organisms are successful because their abilities match their environment. Too much change in either them of their environment and its lights out. At the moment, the odds of us being more successful than the dinosaurs is in doubt.
    Evolution is going to ever greater complexity. That's somewhere.

    Nope. Tapeworms are less complex than their ancestors. So are ostriches. And slowworms. Whales more complex in some ways and less in others.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    We are more complex and getting more so. Yep.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited July 24
    Martin54 wrote: »
    We are more complex and getting more so. Yep.

    (Citation Required)
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    We are more complex and getting more so. Yep.

    (Citation Required)
    Silly KarlLB, humans are the super most specialist.
    Non-sarcastically, even if humans are the pinnacle of complex, there is nothing in evolution to suggest that will continue.

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Thing is there's no obvious measure of complexity. Our enzymes are less complex than those of frogs for example because we don't need lots of different versions to work at different temperatures, because we maintain a steady 36-37C. Our eyes are different to those of squid, but theirs are better in some ways (have the wiring at the back like any sensible God would do it; ours is in front of the retina) but knowing which is more complex?

    It's the wrong concept. Evolution is about change. If I go for a walk from the beach inland I'm almost certain to end up higher than I started, but the walk wasn't necessarily a constant climb. It will have gone up and down as dictated by the landscape.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Individual organism or species may not become more complex over time, but ecosystems seem to. The general trend is going from few, generalized species to more numerous and more specialized species, punctuated at very long intervals by the "reset" of a mass extinction event. Is a specialized organism more or less complex than a more generalized ancestor? There's no real way to measure that. Is an ecosystem that supports 200 interdependent species more complex than one that has 20? Definitely.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Evidence suggests that at least four species of bird survived the end of the other dinosaurs. One was the ancestor of ostriches, kiwis, et al, and also of tinamous (south American patridge-like flying birds); one was the ancestor of chickens and other gamebirds; one the ancestor of ducks etc; and one the ancestor of everything else.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    I have always wondered why ONLY feathery, birdy things survived.
  • And, furry shrew-like things. Plus turtles, sharks, crocodiles ...
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    And quite a lot of lizards and snakes. (Mosasaurs were lizards.)
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    And, furry shrew-like things. Plus turtles, sharks, crocodiles ...
    I mean of the dinosaurs. :rolleyes:
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    edited July 28
    mt--

    Maybe 'cause the birds could fly away? Not being flip. Whatever form of hell was going on with dinos, flying birds could get away. I don't know whether birds run cold-blooded or warm, but the feathers may help regulate body temperature.

    Most of the things other posters mentioned would be good at hiding in holes, scuttling under debris, climbing trees. Even some turtles climb trees. And some turtle/tortoises can seem totally and thoroughly dead for many years, and not be. There was a news story, maybe this year, about a "dead" one that was in storage in a museum, and turned out to be alive. No food or water. I'm guessing it was a tortoise, because they're adapted to dry places, and maybe they've learned to just shut down.

    Sharks and crocodiles could probably take care of themselves.

    And, of course, some critters figure out how to do things they're utterly not designed for, like rock-hopper penguins. They're way cool. Lots of info online.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    You can't fly away from climate.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Didn't know we were talking specifically about climate, at this point. Evolution, complexity, why things survive and what they become.

    You might fly away from climate if the climate isn't all the same everywhere.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited July 28
    Let me rephrase. If a giant meteor lands in the gulf of mexico and changes the climates of the world so radically that bazillions of species die out suddenly, why would it leave, among the thousands of then-extant species of dinosaurs, only birds? ETA: And if it's killing off all of the dinosaur species except four (as suggested above), it's the sort of global thing you can't presumably can't just fly away from.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    One can't do more than speculate, but presumably flying is just better for searching for food over a wide area. Also in the first couple of generations for escaping from hungry predators while there still are some left.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    There's also a strong Cosmic D20 element in this; you can be stacked with bonuses or burdened with penalties but in the end you have to roll the dice.
  • There's very clearly a size factor - in face of massive, rapid climate change (whether from meteor impact, massive volcanism or both) being big was a disadvantage since everything that was large died out. But, there were lots of smaller dinosaurs and species from other orders that died out completely. If flight was a factor favouring survival of a few species of birds, why did none of the pterosaurs survive? If some small crocodilians survive, why no small dinosaurs? If some small sharks survive, why no small plesiosaurs?
  • The flying bird-like dinosaurs aren't today's birds. And weren't flying like today's birds. And their feathers probably had nothing to do with flying. The surviving animals were able to survive because they had physical characteristics that allowed their survival. Thermoregulation is one theory. Bird diversity occurred later.

    The prior Cambrian diversity of hard bodied insect like creatures which were decimated was a prior situation 450 million yrs earlier where many different body plans evolved but only a few survived. The dino instinction is a recent version of a mass dying, not a unique occurrence.

    The recent ice age ending 10k yrs ago is one of many as well. Neanderthals and humans don't have the same survivability in warmer conditions.

    It's probably hard to understand the time frames involved and the randomness of environmental change that organisms may find that some physical characteristic that didn't help survival suddenly does help due rapidly changed environment. (I had a geologist for a father)
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    The flying bird-like dinosaurs aren't today's birds. And weren't flying like today's birds. And their feathers probably had nothing to do with flying. The surviving animals were able to survive because they had physical characteristics that allowed their survival. Thermoregulation is one theory. Bird diversity occurred later.
    As I said above, the evidence is that the most recent common ancestor of modern birds pre-dates the end of the Cretaceous. So by the end of the Cretaceous the surviving birds did have modern flight.
    As you say, the timespans are huge. The Cretaceous extinction is closer to us in time than to the first proto-birds such as archaeopteryx.

  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    There's very clearly a size factor - in face of massive, rapid climate change (whether from meteor impact, massive volcanism or both) being big was a disadvantage since everything that was large died out. But, there were lots of smaller dinosaurs and species from other orders that died out completely. If flight was a factor favouring survival of a few species of birds, why did none of the pterosaurs survive? If some small crocodilians survive, why no small dinosaurs? If some small sharks survive, why no small plesiosaurs?


    Maybe a difference in food needs and resources? Some food sources may have died out. Maybe there was something that was very, very dinosaur-specific. Maybe an epidemic that targeted certain genetics and not others? Etc.

    Some people consider komodo dragons to be small dinosaurs, or nearly.

    Of course, the plesiosaurs wound up in Loch Ness...
    (wink)
  • Re Loch Ness. A Métis fellow spring hunting on Great Slave Lake told me how what he thought was a 20+ foot log openned its mouth and swallowed a family of ducks. A giant jackfish, or what elsewhere is called a northern pike. I wonder.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Some people consider komodo dragons to be small dinosaurs, or nearly.
    I think the more we know about dinosaurs the less komodo dragons look like a good analogy. Something like a cassowary or emu is probably a better model. (Birds being as noted really truly dinosaurs.)
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    There's very clearly a size factor - in face of massive, rapid climate change (whether from meteor impact, massive volcanism or both) being big was a disadvantage since everything that was large died out. But, there were lots of smaller dinosaurs and species from other orders that died out completely. If flight was a factor favouring survival of a few species of birds, why did none of the pterosaurs survive? If some small crocodilians survive, why no small dinosaurs? If some small sharks survive, why no small plesiosaurs?


    Maybe a difference in food needs and resources? Some food sources may have died out. Maybe there was something that was very, very dinosaur-specific. Maybe an epidemic that targeted certain genetics and not others? Etc.

    Some people consider komodo dragons to be small dinosaurs, or nearly.


    They're lizards so far more distantly related than crocodiles. Birds are your closest because they *are* dinosaurs - a turkey and a T. rex share a more recent common ancestor than the T. rex does with a Triceratops.

  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Though Komodo dragons are (probably) next thing to mosasaurs (which were not actual dinosaurs).
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    We are more complex and getting more so. Yep.

    (Citation Required)
    Nah, apart from all sorts of stuff going on, like populations with lower blood pressure and sugar, longer fertility, shrinking brains (they're more efficient), milk drinking, infectious disease resistance.

    Smarts have increased survival value. EQ more than IQ. I'm a throw back, I think I had 42 adult teeth at one point. So no claim there. Wee-wee end of the pool me. Group smarts. Group selection is back. Big time.

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