The lie of evolution, part II

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Helen, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    A friend of mine just attended the annual Meeting of the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) held this year in Mesa. Arizona. This is a four-day event starting on October 19 (Wednesday) and ending on October 22, (Saturday). He writes:

    "For me undoubtedly the major event of the day ... was a 15 minute report by Mary Schweitzer (from North Carolina State University). Schweitzer conformed through a series of tests that the samples taken from the T-rex (MOR 1125) were indeed soft, pliable tissue made up of, matrix, red blood cells, osteocytes and blood vessels (with clearly visible filipoda).

    She has compared them to the recent ostrich, Moa, and mammoth tissue. The T-rex tissue compares very well to these recent samples. Schweitzer played a Powerpoint movie of a pair of tweezer that were manually stretching the T-rex soft tissue back and forth. The audience was entranced. The T-rex tissue samples unlike the Ostrich samples did not need to be stained to show its properties. The T-rex sample did show several states of preservation. Beside the stretchable tissue and the red blood vessels there were vessels that were crystallized and would break on touching.

    Schweitzer has examined other T-rex tissue (MOR 555), supposedly 66 million years old and an unnamed Argentine theropod and both showed similar qualities to the T-rex (MOR 1125). She believes that these are common, not isolated phenomenon.

    Schweitzer is developing a hypothesis for why this remarkable preservation has happened. She contends that the element iron is a key role in the preservation of this tissue (even relating it to what happens with Alzheimer patients). She seemed relieved that there was a possible explanation that these fossils are not “a few hundred years” old."


    My husband had an experience which relates here. When he was in university in Australia, many years ago, he was talking with one of his professors about the possibility of a recent creation (he was not a creationist at the time). His professor said something along the lines of "Even if it were proven that the earth were created in seven literal days only a few thousand years ago, it would be the DUTY of science to find another explanation."

    It seems as if Mary Schweitzer is following that dictum! Anything but creation. ANYTHING!!!
     
  2. Bro. James

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    Is one of the possible explanations: T-Rex was contemporary with homo sapiens?

    Some have said that T-rex was not even a carnivore. Such heresy!!!!!

    Better look out--people have lost their tenure in the "hallowed halls" for less speculations than these.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  3. Helen

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    I don't know that much about T rex myself, but I do recall reading that their teeth seemed awfully shallowly rooted for a carnivore (whose teeth must tear at meat and not fall out!). There may be someone out there who recalls this better than I.
     
  4. UTEOTW

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    "The T-rex sample did show several states of preservation. Beside the stretchable tissue and the red blood vessels there were vessels that were crystallized and would break on touching.
    ...
    Schweitzer is developing a hypothesis for why this remarkable preservation has happened. She contends that the element iron is a key role in the preservation of this tissue (even relating it to what happens with Alzheimer patients). She seemed relieved that there was a possible explanation that these fossils are not 'a few hundred years' old.
    "

    This is worthy of a separate thread as a "Lie of Evolution?"

    This is not the first time that very exceptionally well preserved fossils have been found. Take a very close look at the first part that I quoted. There were varying degrees of preservation found. In some parts, once the minerals were dissolved out, a step missing from the whole section available in the quote in the first post on this thread, there remained material well enough preserved to be flexible and to show extreme detail, right down to individual cells. Others showed good preservation but were not pliable and seem to have been fragile. The second part of the quote shows the the researchers who made the find also think that they have a plausible idea on how to fossilize the material so well.

    Where is the "lie?" Where is there any indication that the researchers involved think that such preservation should be impossible? When they publish their hypothesis on how the preservation happened, we'll have to see if it stands up to review by their peers.

    Unfortunately, YEers and IDers never seem very interested in gettig their material reviewed by experts in the respective fields.

    Also...

    "I don't know that much about T rex myself, but I do recall reading that their teeth seemed awfully shallowly rooted for a carnivore (whose teeth must tear at meat and not fall out!). There may be someone out there who recalls this better than I."

    I had not heard that one before. There are still controversies about whether t-rex was a predator or a scavenger, no "heresy" there, but there is no controversy that she lacked the grinding teeth of most plant eaters.

    Analysis of bite marks from tyranosaurs on fossils reveal that they could inflict bites of tremendous pressure. There are a few old studies that say that the teeth and / or jaws were too weak to support predation at least, though this does not rule out scavenging. Here are two.

    Halstead, L. B. & Halstead, J. Dinosaurs (Blandford, Poole, UK, 1981).

    Barsbold, R. Sov. Sov.-Mong. Paleontol. Eksped. Trudy 19, 1−120 (1983).

    More recent studies have established, however, that they did have jaws strong enough to take down large plant eating animals.

    Farlow, J. O., Brinkman, D. L., Abler, D. L. & Currie, P. J. Mod. Geol. 16, 161−198 (1991).

    Abler, W. L. Paleobiology 18, 161−183 (1992).

    Erickson, G. M. & Olson, K. H. J. Vert. Paleont. 16, 175−178 (1996).

    And...

    "Is one of the possible explanations: T-Rex was contemporary with homo sapiens?"

    Well since there have never been any fossil dinosaurs found with any fossil humans, perhaps other than birds, this does not seem to be a valid conclusion. Dinosaurs have been found in enviromental niches from temperate to swampy to so close to the poles that it was dark for months on end. Humans are observed to live in the same range of conditions. They should have crossed paths at some point.
     
  5. UTEOTW

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    But there is another topic worth discussing which is right there in the OP.

    "She has compared them to the recent ostrich, Moa, and mammoth tissue. The T-rex tissue compares very well to these recent samples."

    Current ideas on birds are that they evolved from a group of dinosaurs, often called theropods, which include tyrannosaurs. So it should not be surprising that when well preserved t-rex blood vessels were examined that they have similarities to the blood vessels in some birds.

    There are a number of homologies that have been discovered between birds and dinosaurs.

    There have been many finds in recent years of feathered dinosaurs. Some of the these finds have included fully formed flight feathers on theropod dinosaurs. Microraptor is an example. It had fully formed flight feathers on both it front arms / wings and on its legs. Even tyrannosaurs have been found with downy feathers. And I think I remember reading that at least one Archaeopteryx fossil was at first misidentified as a dinosaur.

    Dinosaur fossils have been found that indicate that they, too, had four chambered hearts, not the three chambered hearts of most other reptiles. Interestingly, it seems that crocodiles and their relatives have a four chambered heart. This is an interesting homology because dinosuars and crocodiles are both thought to have evolved from the archosaur branch of reptiles.

    Speaking of which, recent discoveries have shown that the theropod reproduction system is intermediate between that of crocodiles and that of birds. Just what you would expect.

    For a while, it has been observed that theropods, like birds, have air sacs in some of their bones. More recently, it has even been found that the basal theropods possessed these air sacs and the flow through system of respiration of birds.

    There is a tissue, known as the medullary bone, that is only found in extant female birds which has also been found in fossil tyrannosaurs.

    There are even developmental homologies. One would be easiest to see in Vargas & Fallon, The digits of the wing of birds are 1, 2, and 3. a review, J Exp Zoolog B Mol Dev Evol. 2005 May 15;304(3):198-205.

    There are many, many more physical homologies that can be shown between birds and dinosaurs. But I want to move to a different piece of evidence that ties these all together.

    Different researchers looking and different genes have found that birds and crocodiles are very closely related to one another. In a recently and separately created "kinds" paradigm, I am at a loss as to why anyone would expect that birds and crocodiles SPECIFICALLY would be expected to be very closely related to one another. Shouldn't crocs group more closely to other reptiles? Not according to the expectations of common descent and not according to the actual testing.

    LARHAMMAR, D., and R. J. MILNER. 1989. Phylogenetic relationship of birds with crocodiles and mammals, as deduced from protein sequences. Mol. Biol. Evol. 6:693-696.

    HEDGES, S. B. 1994. Molecular evidence for the origin of birds. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 91:2621-2624.

    KUMAZAWA, Y., and M. NISHIDA. 1995. Variations in mitochondrial tRNA gene organization of reptiles as phylogenetic markers. Mol. Biol. Evol. 12:759-772.

    And from Axe Janke and Ulfir Amason, The Complete Mitochondrial Genome of Alligator mississippiensis and the Separation Between Recent Archosauria (Birds and Crocodiles)

     
  6. UTEOTW

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    To make it more interesting, why don't we take an example from YECism as a contrast.

    Morris, Henry M., 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, pp. 146-147.

    Morris based this on a legitimate paper [Funkhouser, J. G. and J. J. Naughton, 1968. Radiogenic helium and argon in ultramafic inclusions from Hawaii. Journal of Geophysical Research 73(14): 4601-4607. ] that was doing testing on some rocks from a recent lava flow in Hawaii.

    Now, when rocks are heated to a sufficiently high temperature and are melted, the argon in the rocks escape. When the lava hardens into rock, the potassium-40 begins decaying into Ar-39. By measuring the ratios, a date can be determined. Now if the rocks are not heated sufficiently, the argon does not escape and the rocks will date older than they really are.

    Funkhouser and Naughton were purposely testing inclusions from the rocks that did not melt to see how much older they would date. Of course they dated as old because they had not been reset by melting. They also tested the matrix around the inclusions which had completely melted and found that the ages were zero, as expected.

    So Morris takes the data that measured too old, ignores the known reason that it dated too old, and then claims that radiometric dating does not work. If he actually read the paper, he should know better. It was easy to see and was even the purpose of the work. It's right there in the title.

    And it is not hard to find YEers still peddling this today. No self correction, it seems, in YE. In contrast to real sceince where ideas are constantly put to the challenge.

    http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-radioactive.html
    http://catholicconcerns.com/Scripture/Creation.html
    http://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume20/GOT020259.htm
     
  7. UTEOTW

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    I'm getting carried away here, but I do have a request.

    Is there any positive evidence for a young earth? Any?

    Read the threads. All we ever realyl seem to get from the YEers is negative evidence. They do not attempt to produce data to show the earth is young or to show that life can be cleanly divided into "kinds" or any thing else along those lines for the most part.

    Mostly what we get are attacks upon the current incarnations of evolution or astronomy or geology. (Actually, it seems that often the attacks are on something that is not actually a part of these fields.) But all this really amounts to is a fallacy of the false dilemma.

    If your opinion is that the sky is a particular shade of mauve, you have not demonstrated your point by showing that the sky is not actually mint green. By the same token, even if you were to disprove current theories, that does not automatically make your ideas true as there may be an infinite number of other ideas that would also be possible.

    Now often, the supposed problems fall into more fallacious traps, most often the strawman, but many, many others will be noticed if you try.

    For most, however, it is a simple matter to show that the assertions simply are not true. Yet this does not prevent them from being asserted over and over and over.

    The recent discussions on mutations are a prime example. The assertion has been variously been made that there are no beneficial mutations or that all mutations cause a loss of "specivity" or some other claim along those lines. In response, a number of mechanisms to generate useful genetic material has been proposed by various posters, examples of these mechanisms in action have been given and evidence from the genome has been presented to show that over long periods of time, that this is how genes were developed. There is no response, only a re-assertion of the same claim or a divsion of the group of claims back into individual pieces so it can be asserted that any one example did not lead to a new organism or whatever.

    Another good example is the recent rash of quote mining. Quite a few have been shown to be false and is has been requested that future such quotes, when it appears that the author might not agree with the conclusion being drawn, should be accompanied by links to where the whole publication from which the quote is drawn can be read in context. We all know that this will not happen because the context tends to defuse whatever point was being attempted by the quote mine.

    So are there any lines of evidence that point specifically to a young earth? I don't mean futher attacks on the current science like the oceans only have a few hundred million years of sodium in them or that we haven't observed processes that take millions of years in the lab.

    No. no. Looking for things which directly support young earth claims and which do so in logical, predictable, testible means. It might even help the process if you were to consider examples of ways in which the ideas could be tested and / or falsified and to include these potential tests with oyur posts.

    Is there any evidence which can specifically support "kinds" or a a young earth or a young universe which are not actually attacks of mainstream science? Are there any ID ideas that can be directly tested?
     
  8. Helen

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    You mean tissues which give every evidence of being recent are not good evidence for YEC?

    Please note as well that the various tissues themselves were not being compared genetically, but in terms of states of preservation. So that argument of yours is nil.

    As far as dinosaurs and humans being contemporaneous, reports from various writings and drawings and pottery testifies to the fact that yes, they were contemporaneous. As to why their fossils are not found in the same places, they were not in the same places when the catastrophes that buried them happened...

    But then, that is probably too simple an explanation.
     
  9. UTEOTW

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    "You mean tissues which give every evidence of being recent are not good evidence for YEC?"

    How exactly do they "give every evidence of being recent?"

    So no, that is not evidence of a young earth. The folks who found the tissues themselves disagree with your analysis and they also have a hypothesis on how they were preserved. It was right there in what you quoted. We have yet to see what the hypothesis is, as far as I know, so we are unable to judge whether it is plausible or not. Even if it turns out to not be plausible, that is still a negative type of evidence. There is no evidence that it could not have been well preserved for so long.

    "Please note as well that the various tissues themselves were not being compared genetically, but in terms of states of preservation. So that argument of yours is nil."

    I said nothing about the genetics being compared in those tissues. I said that the vessels in the dinosaur were found to be close in homology to that of birds. But if the tissues were recent, should we not expect them to have contained DNA in very good shape as well? Did they?

    "As far as dinosaurs and humans being contemporaneous, reports from various writings and drawings and pottery testifies to the fact that yes, they were contemporaneous. As to why their fossils are not found in the same places, they were not in the same places when the catastrophes that buried them happened...

    But then, that is probably too simple an explanation.
    "

    Too simple to be sufficient.

    Dinosaurs have bee found which occupied the gaunlet of environments. But you wish us to believe that not only were no dinosaurs ever buried with humans, they were not ever buried with any other modern animal either. It is not just humans. There is a whole range of modern animals which shared the same niches as various dinosaurs. None of them ever found together.

    In the absence of evidence, we are now going to rely upon interpreation of ancient pottery shards and mythical writings to establish that they were contemporaneous? Just how much weight are we going to put on such things? Do we accept them all? How do we decide which parts of ancient myths are reliable and which are not? And if they were around them, why have they never been found together? At least there should be a few dinosaurs on the pile of bones of things they ate. Something.

    [ October 23, 2005, 06:14 PM: Message edited by: UTEOTW ]
     
  10. Bro. James

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    Scanty evidence and silence from the past on a given subject are not grounds for sound conclusions.

    Anybody can speculate on what a particular scrap of evidence might mean--with the biggest bias being what "the peer group" thinks.

    The Word of God is not a collection of myths, fables and folklore from the past. To regard the scripture as containing revelation error is to make one blind to the Truth. The Bible is not a science book. The Bible does not change, science books change every 5 to 10 years.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  11. Petrel

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    I would hardly say the evidence for an old universe and evolution of life is "scanty."
     
  12. UTEOTW

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    "Scanty evidence and silence from the past on a given subject are not grounds for sound conclusions."

    Strawman.

    The actual theories that are ionvolved in biology and paleontology and astronomy and geology and all the other things we talk about here are numerous and often very well supported. Funny how sometimes the same people will claim that there is no evidence for something and then claim that they do not even read theposts that refute them because they are too long or wordy or verbose. How can that be?

    ----------------

    I almost forgot one of the most popular of all arguments we see: the argument from ignorance.

    You'll see this in many forms. Often it goes something like X could not have evolved because it is too complex. Or a cell has too many parts to have just popped into being. Or you can't say that birds evolved from dinosaurs because you don't have the complete genome of the basal theropod from which it evolved.

    There are many variations, but they all boil down to the person claiming that they do not understand something or that something seems to hard to them to have really happened or that something cannot be true because every possible piece of information has yet to be discovered.
     
  13. Phillip

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    Amen, Bro. James, good point.
     
  14. Phillip

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    The same quote has a negative effect on the theory of evolution also. It just depends on which side of the Bible that you view the evidence from. [​IMG]
     
  15. Phillip

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    Helen, that was a very interesting story, thank you for sharing it with us. [​IMG]
     
  16. Phillip

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    UTEOW, I think the greatest amount of evidence against evolution exists in a book that the Creator dictated to man. Why would He make up stories to confuse everybody.

    After all, He is not the author of confusion and if anything splits the secular world from the Christian world it is evolution.

    I believe it was you who stated that miracles happened. The miracles that happened were those witnessed by people and written down in the Bible, such as Jesus walking on the water. But, supernatural events that were not witnessed did not occur...such as a six day creation. This is backward logic.

    And, as I said earlier, the Creator Himself rates pretty high on my list of witnesses. Now, you will say that I just don't understand Genesis.

    My answer? Yes, I understand it, it is clearly written and there would be no legitimate reason on this Earth that God would make up a story of the creation which could be used against His cause.

    It is also interesting that scriptures indicate that those who think they are very smart are blinded to the truth. I would suggest that the secular scientists are the ones blinded, because they lack the consultation of the Holy Spirit to help them understand the Bible---so, they MUST find a natural method...and the only answer that could be possible would be that of evolution.

    Based on the facts, it would take more faith for me to believe in evolution than it does the Creation, as recorded by the Creator, who just happened to be there.
     
  17. Bro. James

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    Amen!!!!!

    "Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free."

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  18. Petrel

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    I prefer to call this version the argument from incredulity or the argument from unimaginativeness!

    Exactly. This is why I can't believe that God would make up the astrological, geological, fossil, and genetic evidence that we see today if he really made the world 6000 years ago. Why would he try to confuse us by expecting us to believe one thing while providing ample evidence that this was false simultaneously? This is why I think that Genesis 1-2 is nonliteral.
     
  19. Helen

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    Petrel,

    Imagination does not substitute for eyewitness.

    If you consider Genesis 1 and 2 non-literal, what about Genesis 3 and 4?
     
  20. Paul of Eugene

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    Helen, Imagination does not substitute for evidence.

    If you consider evidence from geology, from genetics, from astronomy, from biology to be non-compelling, why do you consider evidence that the scriptures are the literal words of God compelling?
     

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