Author Topic: Am I wrong in thinking this?  (Read 598 times)

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Offline Boots

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Am I wrong in thinking this?
« on: April 08, 2012, 10:33:54 AM »
After reading a couple recent threads in which evolution was touched upon, a thought occurred to me.  Please keep in mind that I have what I consider to be only a cursory understanding of the theory of evolution and its mechanisms . . .

Creationists often point to a "lack of transitional fossils/forms" as an argument against evolution.  They often go on to say that there isn't any form that's "between one animal and another."

Now, am I wrong in thinking that if someone did find a crocoduck fossil (exaggeration, but you get my point) that would, in fact, prove our current theory of evolution wrong??  Evolution doesn't work this way; it works in infinitesimally small increments for one thing.  For another thing, it doesn't strive toward any particular form (so you wouldn't see something evolving "heading toward a human" with any guidance behind it or with the human form as a goal).

so is my thought process wrong here?  As a further question, if anyone has any particular articles/books on the subject of evolution they like to which they'd like to point me, I'm all ears!  I'd love to learn more beyond my current cursory knowledge.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Am I wrong in thinking this?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2012, 10:37:10 AM »
If you could accurately define what a "half-duck half-crocodile" is, then it probably would.
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Offline Alzael

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Re: Am I wrong in thinking this?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2012, 10:47:53 AM »
After reading a couple recent threads in which evolution was touched upon, a thought occurred to me.  Please keep in mind that I have what I consider to be only a cursory understanding of the theory of evolution and its mechanisms . . .

Creationists often point to a "lack of transitional fossils/forms" as an argument against evolution.  They often go on to say that there isn't any form that's "between one animal and another."

Now, am I wrong in thinking that if someone did find a crocoduck fossil (exaggeration, but you get my point) that would, in fact, prove our current theory of evolution wrong??  Evolution doesn't work this way; it works in infinitesimally small increments for one thing.  For another thing, it doesn't strive toward any particular form (so you wouldn't see something evolving "heading toward a human" with any guidance behind it or with the human form as a goal).

so is my thought process wrong here?  As a further question, if anyone has any particular articles/books on the subject of evolution they like to which they'd like to point me, I'm all ears!  I'd love to learn more beyond my current cursory knowledge.

No, your thought processes aren't wrong. Just theirs. You are correct that if we were to find the evidence for evolution that they want us to provide, it would disprove that evolution happened (or at least be compelling evidence against it). Ironic huh?

As for information. There's a very good lecture on ID given by Ken Miller, who's a prominent biologist. It's long but it contains a great deal of information on how evolution works and the creationst movement. It's well worth the time to watch.






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Offline Eaten by Bears

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Re: Am I wrong in thinking this?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2012, 11:15:27 AM »
Every fossil is a transitional fossil.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Am I wrong in thinking this?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2012, 11:35:54 AM »
Let's say you did find something weird, like a "crocoduck", and it wasn't a fraud.  Would it be more reasonable to conclude that the "crocoduck" was a transitional form between a crocodile and a duck, or that it was a separate line of evolution, along the lines of the duck-billed platypus?  I mean, we don't assume that the duck-billed platypus is a "transitional form" between a duck and a platypus that somehow got stuck on Australia for a few thousand years.  So why assume that a "crocoduck" was one either, without very compelling evidence?
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Offline BaalServant

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Re: Am I wrong in thinking this?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2012, 01:27:01 PM »
Your thought process makes perfect sense to me.  Like Eaten by Bears pointed out, every fossil is a transitional fossil.  Every organism is a transitional organism. 

How to explain this to a person who refuses to accept that evolution is a possibility, though, I'm still at a loss, so it's not like you're not understanding anything in these conversations.  It's just that the reasons that these people give for disagreement aren't really reasons, they're evasions of rationality.

It's akin to me saying that I've never seen the ocean evaporate and form a cloud, Therefore the theory of the water cycle is pseudoscience!  Where are the transitional forms??!!1!   

One way to demonstrate the validity of the theory of the water cycle, in order to answer to this sort of claim, is to put a chemical marker in the ocean, and we will find that this chemical marker then shows up in the rain that comes from some clouds later, while it wasn't in the rain earlier. 

The same goes for details that we can find in the remains of organisms.  By studying the different details that are present, we can make a determination of which organisms an organism came from. 

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins goes into some of the mechanisms of evolution, both social and biological.  It's helped me to answer both the 'how can animals change' question, as well as the 'how can a good society evolve out of no society' questions. 
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Offline Frank

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Re: Am I wrong in thinking this?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2012, 07:15:56 PM »
It doesn't matter what you find when you are dealing with people who think fossils have been planted in the ground by Satan to lure us away from religion.
Also the hair splitting will start. They'll find some god fearing biologist/creationist with a bogus degree from GodBotherer University to quibble over the findings and gripe about dating techniques, what kind of creature the fossil was, etc, etc, anything to muddy the waters enough to keep the believers on side.
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