Author Topic: Why evolution is true  (Read 8414 times)

Maeght

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #350 on: September 11, 2018, 12:09:15 PM »
Are you sure you are not confusing 'facts' with the naming conventions in a classification system?

We are classified as apes, which is a fact.

Udayana

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #351 on: September 11, 2018, 12:29:23 PM »
I think it is more the case that the names used in the classification system reflect the underlying 'facts' where Taxonomy involves methods that take into account the likes of shared characteristics, and no doubt these days DNA analysis.
Quite often DNA analysis shows that the earlier classification was misleading and this can lead to a change in taxonomy - the methods are not exact and involve judgements on similarity.
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Udayana

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #352 on: September 11, 2018, 12:31:43 PM »
We are classified as apes, which is a fact.
Of-course. However I doubt that SweetPea was using "apes" in that precise sense.   
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jeremyp

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #353 on: September 11, 2018, 12:53:19 PM »
Humans are not apes
How do you expect to be able to talk rationally about a subject if you can't even accept basic facts. Humans are apes. Fossil evidence and DNA evidence make that undeniable.

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You going to tell your children their great, great+ grandparents were apes.... seriously?!
Yes I am and you are an ape to and so are all of your immediate relatives. Some of your more distant relatives like dogs and crocodiles and bananas are not apes.

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Stop for a moment.... and think how silly that is.... somethin' ain't right..
How silly is it that you are denying the evidence? Yes, that is very silly.
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jeremyp

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #354 on: September 11, 2018, 12:55:07 PM »
Quite often DNA analysis shows that the earlier classification was misleading and this can lead to a change in taxonomy - the methods are not exact and involve judgements on similarity.
DNA analysis confirms that humans are apes.
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Gordon

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #355 on: September 11, 2018, 01:40:23 PM »
Quite often DNA analysis shows that the earlier classification was misleading and this can lead to a change in taxonomy - the methods are not exact and involve judgements on similarity.

Science doesn't do absolute certainty though, which is a strength, and all its conclusions are provisional and subject to revision in the light of any new evidence. That said, some conclusions are sufficiently well supported that they can be taken to be interim facts for all practical purposes: such as that our species is one of eight extant species of great ape.   

Udayana

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #356 on: September 11, 2018, 02:28:52 PM »
DNA analysis confirms that humans are apes.

DNA confirms that we are closely related to the other apes and descended from the same ancestral line.  That is not really in dispute, however the word "ape" can casually be used in any number of different ways. You could use it to mean all apes, the great apes, or all the other current apes apart from humans, sometime including monkeys.

The argument is about word use not phylogenetic descent.
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Udayana

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #357 on: September 11, 2018, 02:31:08 PM »
Science doesn't do absolute certainty though, which is a strength, and all its conclusions are provisional and subject to revision in the light of any new evidence. That said, some conclusions are sufficiently well supported that they can be taken to be interim facts for all practical purposes: such as that our species is one of eight extant species of great ape.
Yeah, but this is just fudging around :)
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jeremyp

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #358 on: September 11, 2018, 05:12:57 PM »
DNA confirms that we are closely related to the other apes and descended from the same ancestral line.  That is not really in dispute, however the word "ape" can casually be used in any number of different ways. You could use it to mean all apes, the great apes, or all the other current apes apart from humans, sometime including monkeys.

The argument is about word use not phylogenetic descent.
Certainly people use the word "ape" colloquially to mean "apes except humans", but I try to avoid that.

In any case, the word was introduced into a discussion about the ancestry of humans and where Australopithecus fits into our evolutionary past. To claim that the term "ape" does not include humans in this context is to claim that humans and the other great apes do not share a (fairly recent in geological terms) common ancestor.
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Dicky Underpants

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #359 on: September 11, 2018, 05:24:00 PM »
Of-course. However I doubt that SweetPea was using "apes" in that precise sense.

No, I imagine that SweetPea was repeating the old confusion to which creationists are prone: that of assuming that modern evolutionary theory is positing that somehow modern humans evolved from chimpanzees or gorillas or orang-utans. Of course we didn't - our earliest ancestors bore many of the distinctive characteristics of modern apes, but ancestral apes (creatures like Dryopithecus - posited as being not so far from the human line of descent) were quite distinct.
All the Australopithecines bore characteristics which were a bit of a mixture -A. robustus closer to modern apes, and A. afarensis closer to modern humans.
However, all this is a side-issue to the true assertion which has been made here, which is that humans are apes, something which fits well into the modern classification system of cladistics.

Dicky Underpants

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #360 on: September 11, 2018, 05:29:49 PM »
The argument is about word use not phylogenetic descent.

It's both. One can only hope its persistent use by modern scientists will encourage religious fundamentalists to use their brains a little to understand exactly how the term is used in zoology, paleontology and genetics.

Shaker

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #361 on: September 11, 2018, 05:32:36 PM »
It's both. One can only hope its persistent use by modern scientists will encourage religious fundamentalists to use their brains a little to understand exactly how the term is used in zoology, paleontology and genetics.
Not a chance. They haven't even got the memo about the scientifically correct meaning/usage of the word theory so far.
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Udayana

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #362 on: September 11, 2018, 06:18:08 PM »
Certainly people use the word "ape" colloquially to mean "apes except humans", but I try to avoid that.

In any case, the word was introduced into a discussion about the ancestry of humans and where Australopithecus fits into our evolutionary past. To claim that the term "ape" does not include humans in this context is to claim that humans and the other great apes do not share a (fairly recent in geological terms) common ancestor.

This is true.

I took the "Humans are not apes..." assertion by SweetPea as a change of context.
 
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Udayana

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #363 on: September 11, 2018, 06:29:09 PM »
No, I imagine that SweetPea was repeating the old confusion to which creationists are prone: that of assuming that modern evolutionary theory is positing that somehow modern humans evolved from chimpanzees or gorillas or orang-utans.
...

But this this has been explained so many times that any creationists can be assumed to be deliberately obfuscating the issue - meaning that extra care must be taken to be clear and precise and specify the context in any further explanations.
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Udayana

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #364 on: September 11, 2018, 06:37:41 PM »
It's both. One can only hope its persistent use by modern scientists will encourage religious fundamentalists to use their brains a little to understand exactly how the term is used in zoology, paleontology and genetics.
It's too easily messed around with. Best to use the actual taxonomic names: Hominoidea, Hominidea, Pongidea and so on.

The phrase "Humans are apes" carries too much cultural baggage to be of much use.
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Spud

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #365 on: September 11, 2018, 07:08:38 PM »
Humans are apes.
As defined by their scapula, according to wikipedia. But in humans, the spine and glenoid fossa of the scapula point horizontally, whereas in the rest it points diagonally upwards. So to designate humans as apes on that basis is not completely accurate.
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Your hypothesis makes no sense. If you really meant a mosaic between humans and chimpanzees, it makes a a bit more sense, but given that humans and chimpanzees only diverged about 6 million years ago, itís not entirely unexpected that an ancestor of ours that lived 4 million years ago would have a bit more in common with chimps than we do.
I meant a mosaic between humans and other apes, including gorillas (see for example the mandible of Australopithecus Afarensis specimen A. L. 822-1:
http://www.pnas.org/content/104/16/6568), orang utans, and chimps. The evidence I would point to against it being related to humans is where you get fossils of human-like appearance dating back millions of years. For example AL 666-1 which is a maxilla that looks very similar to a modern human but is dated at 3.3 my. Or the Laetoli footprints and others recently found nearby which date to 3+ my and show very similar size and shape, and identical habits to modern humans, where a smaller individual steps in the footprints of a larger one.

Spud

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #366 on: September 11, 2018, 07:36:34 PM »
Another enigma for the conventional view of the fossil record is the 3.58 my KSD-VP-1/1, nicknamed "Big Man" because it is thought to be a large australopithecus individual. It might be better named "Little man" because it looks more like a human, with a human-like shoulder girdle:
https://lawnchairanthropology.com/2010/06/26/big-man-and-the-scapula-of-australopithecus-afarensis/

jeremyp

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #367 on: September 12, 2018, 12:55:51 PM »
This is true.

I took the "Humans are not apes..." assertion by SweetPea as a change of context.
 

I took it to mean that Sweetpea thinks that humans are literally do not have a common ancestor with other apes. i.e. that humans were created separately from the other animals. Only on reading your post did it occur to me that I may be wrong and Sweetpea means that at some point in their evolution, humans crossed some sort of boundary that means they could no longer be called apes.
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jeremyp

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #368 on: September 12, 2018, 01:03:20 PM »
As defined by their scapula, according to wikipedia. But in humans, the spine and glenoid fossa of the scapula point horizontally, whereas in the rest it points diagonally upwards. So to designate humans as apes on that basis is not completely accurate.
You know it's not just about shoulder blades? All the evidence we have from fossils to DNA points to humans being apes.

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I meant a mosaic between humans and other apes, including gorillas (see for example the mandible of Australopithecus Afarensis specimen A. L. 822-1:

So what you are saying is that our ancestors looked a bit more like other apes than we do. We have a word for that: "transitional".

In this thread you have now argued that transitional forms are evidence against evolution and the absence of transitional forms is evidence against evolution. Are you beginning to understand why nobody takes your arguments seriously?
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Spud

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #369 on: September 12, 2018, 10:41:59 PM »
So what you are saying is that our ancestors looked a bit more like other apes than we do. We have a word for that: "transitional".
I didn't say the Australopithecines were our ancestors (or our cousins). Yes, they looked more like apes than we do. That doesn't mean they are related to us. But if you read the rest of my post, I said that certain fossils seem to overturn the theory that they are related to us.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 10:06:43 AM by Spud »

jeremyp

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #370 on: September 13, 2018, 08:43:35 PM »
I didn't say the Australopithecines were our ancestors (or our cousins). Yes, they looked more like apes than we do. That doesn't mean they are related to us. But if you read the rest of my post, I said that certain fossils seem to overturn the theory that they are related to us.
You said that Australopithicines are a mosaic of humans and other apes and you describe some features that are human like and some features that are like other apes. Isnít that exactly what we might expect from a transitional species? You are trying to have your cake and eat it. You claim that transitional donít exist but then we we find one and you claim it canít be related to humans because it has features of the species it transitioned from.

Thatís deeply dishonest.
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Spud

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #371 on: September 14, 2018, 11:07:07 AM »
You said that Australopithicines are a mosaic of humans and other apes and you describe some features that are human like and some features that are like other apes. Isnít that exactly what we might expect from a transitional species? You are trying to have your cake and eat it. You claim that transitional donít exist but then we we find one and you claim it canít be related to humans because it has features of the species it transitioned from.

Thatís deeply dishonest.
If that's the case then I apologize. Yes you might expect a transitional to have features common to both. I can't argue that there isn't an apparently clear set of transitionals leading up to humans, but neither can anyone say that is conclusive evidence, because it could still be the case that they are unrelated.

To be fair, it is difficult to come to a definite conclusion because of the incompleteness of the fossil specimens available. In time I'm sure more will be found.

One aspect of the Australopithecines that puzzles me is the ratio of upper and lower limb lengths. I wasn't sure there were any specimens which have a complete upper and lower limb, until I saw 'Little Foot'. It has recently gone on display and appears to have a roughly equal length upper and lower limb, which poses questions about how it moved. Hopefully more details will emerge and we will have a better understanding in future.

Spud

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #372 on: September 14, 2018, 11:12:04 AM »
https://lawnchairanthropology.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/australopithecus-skeletons.png?w=676

This shows a number of Australopithecus specimens including the Little Foot in the red box.

enki

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #373 on: September 14, 2018, 12:15:26 PM »
https://lawnchairanthropology.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/australopithecus-skeletons.png?w=676

This shows a number of Australopithecus specimens including the Little Foot in the red box.

Anyone interested in 'little foot' might find this very readable article interesting, including, about halfway through, an excellent picture comparison of some of the most complete australopithecus skeletons to date.

https://medium.com/@johnhawks/will-the-most-complete-skeleton-ever-transform-human-origins-630c66ed90c4

I think you will find that paleoanthropologists have no problem with relating the 'southern ape' genera to the genus homo, but recent discoveries and recent techniques suggest that the picture is much more complex than first assumed and that the 'southern ape' and the homo line are much closer than was originally thought. Here, for instance, is a recent paper(June 2016) which suggests that in the light of recent evidence the homo line and the australopithecus line tend to blend into each other in a rather smoother transition than first thought. The paper itself is highly detailed, but the conclusion at least is definitely worth reading.

http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/371/1698/20150248
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 02:37:01 PM by enki »
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Sassy

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Re: Why evolution is true
« Reply #374 on: September 15, 2018, 02:07:54 AM »
WHY EVOLUTION IS TRUE STILL AN IDEA...

Why is it important to bandy about a term which is no nearer now than when it first came into mans thought to being true?

When man can actually find the real answer it will be too late. Christ will have returned or the human race ended.

They are the only two likely outcomes. Either way these arguments will still be as useless then as when they started.
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