Author Topic: Current Transitional Forms?  (Read 2540 times)

Online Greg

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Current Transitional Forms?
« on: October 22, 2015, 12:30:22 PM »
Should there not be current transitional forms demonstrated in living animals.  Surely life is still evolving as much as it ever was?  Should there not be a shark out there with a halfway evolved laser beam on its head, or a monitor lizard able to change the channels on the TV but not able to turn the volume up and down?

Does science ever discover creatures with half or 3/4 developed capacities?  Organs that don't do anything or do something badly because they are a few million years shy of being ready for action?

I appreciate that the time scales are large, but surely in the huge number of samples there is something that is 50% and 99% ready?
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Offline Heinrich

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Re: Current Transitional Forms?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2015, 12:35:34 PM »
Thought provoking questions. Where do the hordes of Nietzschean Übermenschen live? We should be almost there.

In before evolutionists here tell us we're idiots.
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Online Greg

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Re: Current Transitional Forms?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2015, 01:00:35 PM »
Perhaps we are the half evolved forms. ;D

Believing backward ideas and not aborting our offspring to "stop global warming".

I'd like to see evidence of the extra brain function or longer index finger or whatever biological addition you need to be one of the new world order's rent boys.
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Offline Arun

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Re: Current Transitional Forms?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2015, 04:17:53 PM »
isn't this the premise for x-men or something? keep your eyes skinned and watching james mcavoy; when he starts turning into patrick stewart, it has begun.


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Offline GloriaPatri

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Re: Current Transitional Forms?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2015, 06:09:46 PM »
Wouldn't you be better off contacting an evolutionary biologist Greg? Surely you live close to a University with faculty specializing in the biological sciences. I'm sure you could find their emails if you're really interested in understanding evolutionary theory.
 

Offline Landelinus

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Re: Current Transitional Forms?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2015, 01:02:55 AM »
There are plenty of transitional forms, but probably not the kind you're thinking off.  The basic vertebrate body plan was laid down lo these many years ago.  Rather than stunning novelties, novel species specific traits are usually a variation on a pre-existing theme.  For instance, spines, scales, feathers, hairs, horns, & teeth are all specialized appendages of the epidermal or oral stratified squamous epithelia.  Sweat, sebaceous, and mammary glands are all secretory versions of the same thing.  Depending on species, dermal appendages can be expressed in various ways.  Taking the example of mammals, we can observe a variety of different forms of lactation which could be considered intermediate.  In the egg-laying mammals such as the platypus and the echnida, milk secreting mammary glands exist but their ducts do not join to a specialized nipple appendage but empty directly to the skin and are delivered to pups via hair.  True, there is no intermediate between monotreme milk patches and placental mammal nipples, but  powerful adaptation like nipples - that directly affect reproductive success - would be expected to dominate a future evolutionary landscape.  Non-nipple bearing populations would survive only as relicts, much as geographically isolated Australian monotremes. For whatever reason, the competing, nipple-bearing marsupials did not fill the niche that platypusses currently fill.  Monotremes therefore act as a relict transitional form between therapsid reptiles and placental mammals.  However, they are 1) not basal and 2)unlikely to evolve in to live-bearing, nipple bearing future species as that adaptive landscape has been thoroughly exploited.  On the flipside, any vestigial forms such as modern whale pelvic bones, which are unattached to any functional appendage (whales have no hind flippers) represent forms in transition to  nonexistence.  We can look at fossil whale species like Basilosaurus, which actually had small, probably useless hind flippers, and view modern, non-flippered, blubber-embedded whale pelves as a reduction of this ancestral or para-ancestral form.  This probably doesn't satisfy you, but it's all we have.  Given that most ecological niches are currently filled, significant novel forms will not have a chance of developing from existing species until those niches are dramatically emptied - i.e. asteroid that wipes out terrestrial life, allowing sharks or dolphins, or coelacanths to colonize dry land once the dust settles. The new terrestrial life will have whatever features are adapted to the atmospheric conditions, edible plant life, and predatory and competitive environment.  That probably won't involve lasers.  That's my answer as a biologist (sorry I didn't talk at all about molecular evolutionary biology).  My answer as a Catholic is that in God's time - eternity - all species, all life-forms are perfect (in the grammatical sense: complete) and nothing is in transition.  In the same way, our salvation is complete in God's time and yet, in our time, we still work our salvation out, we are still in transition, growing in holiness or not.  So, if there were transitional forms (say wood digesting enzymes - completely invisible to the skeptic's eye) in existence, we'd be just as able to recognize them as we would any person's eternal disposition.  We'll just have to wait and see, when the Good Lord gives us a view.
 
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Online Greg

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Re: Current Transitional Forms?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2015, 03:29:00 AM »
Nonsense.

Whales pelvic bones are important for reproduction.  Get your facts right.

That's the trouble with evolution. Nothing is stated concretely.  So something can be a "vestige" one week and a vital part the next.
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Offline Flora

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Re: Current Transitional Forms?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2015, 12:51:20 PM »
There are aspects of evolution that are scientifically ambiguous and unfalsifiable.

Example:
http://phys.org/news/2013-11-male-lizards-more-feminine-bearded-ladies.html

According to field observations and experiments, male lizards prefer non-bearded, non-colored female lizards.
 
Why?
Bearded lady lizards lay smaller (perhaps less-fit) eggs, so perhaps males are selecting based on reproductive output.
Over time, feminine lady lizards might win out over bearded ladies, causing the bearded female population to dwindle.

On the other hand, bearded lady lizards may be more aggressive and able to better fight off predators. They may also have "sexier" sons.
Which all contribute to reproductive fitness. So their populations may not die out and actually continue to stay high.

No matter the result, the scientists would have "predicted" the outcome via their "just-so" story of evolution.
 

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Re: Current Transitional Forms?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2015, 01:03:09 PM »
Usually, the response is, "How do you know that each current form isn't itself a transitional form? 'Maybe the lizard is a transitional form between the snake and the bird.'

But you're referring to the different transitional features of each form. The response to that is generally punctuated equalibrium, which is used to explain rapid changes in transitional features over a short period of time. So if a feature is so beneficial as to "take off," as it were, then it will reach its most useful potential in a short period of time.
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Offline Bl. Karl Hapsburg

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Re: Current Transitional Forms?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2015, 10:40:33 PM »
Teenagers are transitional forms. I bet if a scientist dug one up that lived deep in the past they would recieve world wide praise for finding the half ape man missing link. In some cases this has happened, only later do they find its just a child or young adult.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 10:45:13 PM by Bl. Karl Hapsburg »
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Offline Quaremerepulisti

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Re: Current Transitional Forms?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2015, 08:17:46 AM »
Should there not be current transitional forms demonstrated in living animals.  Surely life is still evolving as much as it ever was? 

Perhaps, if one believes in materialist "goo-to-you-by-way-of-the-zoo" style evolution.

However, the type of evolution an Aristotelian-Thomist philosopher would accept is much different, and would deny this type of "transitional form".