Yes, good information, Emergence.
For any of you who are interested in getting down to the nitty-gritty of whether this creature is UNDENIABLY a transitional specimen, I’d really recommend you do some additional research as I have done. In its alleged transitional state, this creature would have most probably received a death blow from natural selection. Among other things, it would be necessary to present a half-winged specimen, explain how the wing structures, skeletal structure, lungs, etc. evolved through “coincidental” mutations, explain warm blooded versus cold blooded, ignore the controversy surrounding the discovery of some of the fossils…before you can even come close to having a claim of UNDENIABILITY. You still would not be there. The leap from land animal to flying animal is an incredible, impossible transition to explain (at this point) short of a mere guess. Sorry, Emergence….you have not presented a complete case for demonstrating that this is UNDENIABLY a transitional fossil(s).
Thus how I got my subtitle. *rubs bridge of nose*
BibleStudent, I'm going to start off by complimenting you - you are a thinker. I like thinkers. People who actually delve into ideas are often the ones that are of most benefit to the world around them. However, you've got a couple of core mistakes here that, I think, are reparable. Others have already pointed out the gist - like Sammyllama here:
Those of you in the know, help me out on this: Isn't every fossil--and every living thing, for that matter--either an "endproduct" in the line of it's species (assuming that species went extinct at that point) or both an "end-result" and a transitional fossil (assuming that the line of species continued on)?
I'm not a Bio freak or anything, but in general, is this not correct?
(Not meaning to derail the thread, but I think this pertains to the discussion.)
You have made the mistake of believing that the world divides itself into obviously neat little compartments - that scientific classification is somehow something more than a blatantly human invention. Biology (especially!) is not neat and clean and nicely divided. Animals don't line up by ... well, for lack of a better word, 'kinds' and get counted. Distinctions between species are a function of scientific taxonomy - an attempt to make sense of the world - and rest assured that an anthropmorphized 'Nature' takes absolutely no notice of what we call the creatures on this planet, or how we divide them.
Even the word 'species' is a human-defined word - we are the arbiters of where species lines are drawn. Oh, I think we've done a pretty good job of it - we, for instance, point out that Zebra (Equus burchelli
) are a different species than an American Quarter Horse (Equus caballus
), but I think you can see that the similarities are there. In fact, I pick on horse evolution in particular because, oddly, it's one of those species for which we have lots and lots of transitional fossils. (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/horses/horse_evol.html
, if you'd like to see a briefish overview of it). Here's a general top-down look at the horse evolutionary tree:
Why show you all of this?
Well, you're hung up on the creationist notion that 'dogs suddenly have cats'. That's not how evolution works - it's not that fast, and it's not that random.
Can you accept that the domesticated cow (Bos taurus
) is the product of artificial selection - that is, we humans, over tens of thousands of years, selected cows based on traits we wanted them to have? We selected for milk production and beef flavor (and amount), size and docility - and somewhere along the way we ended up with a Jersey Shorthorn and a Texas Longhorn and an Angus, all from an original 'protocow'? It's well-documented, and all of those cows are the same species (it's true that we haven't speciated a cow yet, mostly because humans interfere in insemination. It's unlikely that, if we turned 'em loose in the wild, a Jersey bull would ever mate with an Angus cow. In a few thousand years, they probably wouldn't be able to - much like a chihuahua and a Great Dane could probably never mate in the wild.)
If you can accept that humans can bring about the diversity that is represented by cows, horses, pigs, dogs - even the domesticated turkey, which cannot breed on its own (and is a separate species - the American wild turkey is Meleagris gallopavo
while the domesticated descendant, as it can no longer breed with its wild cousin, is now Meleagris gallopavo gallopavo
), why is it difficult to accept that similar, though natural, pressures created the diversity of life present on this planet?
Note, too, that all of the human taxonomy of Earth's species isn't just about physical (or these days, genetic) differences. It includes ranges, expected dates of existence, and more. Archaeopterix
isn't considered a transitional fossil just because it had feathers, but also because of the age, location, and transitional features of the find.
You want a half-ape-half-man to show up, or a half-bird-half-crocodile 'crocoduck' - but these things are not posited, and simply don't and never have existed. That's not how it works, and is a blatant misrepresentation by people who believe they know what they're talking about, and in truth have no idea. Go open your mind.
Let me be blunt - if evolution were not true, then almost all of the biology from which you benefit today would not work. There wouldn't be nylon-eating bacteria (did you know, for instance, that naturally-occurring oil-eating bacteria in the Gulf are helping to 'digest' the massive oil spill?), we couldn't mass-produce insulin, you wouldn't have most of the antibiotics available today.. the list goes on. We also wouldn't have many of the problems that are starting to rear their heads: superresistant bacteria, HIV-2...
Man. There's a good example - HIV. HIV is so mutagenic it's really sort of a 'species cloud' rather than a single species of virus. Its replication is so error-prone that every single treatement produces resistant strains, and it requires dozens of antibodies rather than just one set (like, say, Polio - which is far more structured). Scary, no?
BibleScholar, you can be a scholar of the bible all you like, but 'Creation Science' offers nothing. Show me one thing creationism has proven true about this world, one useful theorem, one possible response even close to the world-changing reality of antiretroviral drugs, amoxycillin, or even the modern dessert banana, and I'll say you may have a point. Until then, you're ignoring evidence to suit your theological stance, completely ignoring how much you personally benefit from the evolutionary science you claim is utterly false.
Want to really look at that position before you commit to its inherent hypocracy?