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Old August 7, 2003, 04:01 PM
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Zobair Zobair is offline
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Arnab...thanks for the warning...I am diving for cover :P
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Old August 7, 2003, 04:16 PM
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Nasif Nasif is offline
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hmm...now that my summer courses are over, should I indulge into the topic a little more
At least through this discussion you have been exposed to some of the shortcoming of evolution theory that requires more "indulging into". You are most welcome to increase your knowledge on this matter.

Muslim is anyone who submits to God
Agreed 100% brother. Thanks.
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Old August 7, 2003, 04:19 PM
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Orpheus Orpheus is offline
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I truly hope I have not offended anyone. I am here for the same reason you are here. To discuss ideas. No one can force anyone to believe in anything. But we can always discuss. That is the essence of knowledge.
I couldn’t agree more. There is no reason why anyone would be offended here (except me from pompous’ outburst but I know better than that, thus no offense). You are actually one of very few Banglacricket members who is focused on the subject rather than going into personal attacks (pompous’ fear – thus he wants to end it ). So far, I love your counterarguments! I also disagree with pompous that this discussion is just futile. I am sure we are learning something new – like I learned about the probability and I doubt whether most of you knew about RSA encryption if you are not into mathematics or computer. It’s not possible to know everything… So discuss away….

This is gonna be a lonnnnng post, I capitalized the person whom I am answering to: so I request the concerned person to read his with care. You may skip others but read anyway – after all I am spending fair amount of time here.


and you know for sure that these planets and galaxies are useless eh? wow! what a collosal waste of time for all those physicists who sleep. live and eat astronomy and astrophysics. All this theories about gravitational pull between bodies and the various emissions and their various effects on each other, all rubbish??? wow!
Pompous, notice I said “OUTSIDE OUR SOLAR SYSTEM”, yes true that gravitational pull between bodies and various other effects are essence to our survival and the survival of our planet but please inform me why we need all those other galaxies beside the Milky Way and so many other matters all over the universe. Is it really your thorough knowledge of space and time or are you being dismissive because you feel that whatever a dumb**** like Orpheus says have no credibility? I am sure you don’t think our whole universe was built so meticulously that a slight change will end everything. Did we ever feel the impact of all those stars that have collapsed over time? Anyways, here is a physicist who “sleeps, lives, and eats” theoretical physics, Stephen Hawking. Here is an excerpt from one of his book:

“Our Solar System is certainly a prerequisite for our existence, and one might extend this to the whole of our galaxy to allow for an earlier generation of stars that created the heavier elements. But there does not seem to be any need for all those other galaxies, nor for the universe to be so uniform and similar in every direction on the large scale.”
I think that was enough. No those theories are not “all rubbish”; (You just made me realize something - the way your logic works, I am beginning to think why you don’t believe in Evolution even though quiet a fair amount of intelligent being spent time in developing such theories). Anyways, please read what I write with a little care w/o getting too excited.
brave comment to make when hardly anything is known about even a corner of the universe and the farthest man has travelled is the moon.
I think I already showed you why that comment was made but then again you can still argue not “much” is known. Well I have (no one has) nothing else to say to that. But the furthest men have traveled to may be the moon but that doesn’t necessarily mean our knowledge of space is limited to it. I mean we know about black holes but you sure don’t want to travel there, do you?

And time can be a very relative term! If you read descriptions of time as it will be on the day of judgement and thereafter, you will see God doesnot necessarily run according to your terms. He does according to His own wishes. Even if He did creat this world for humans, why should that mean that He would want humans on earth from day 1 (especially as you know it!)???
Well making all the necessities for human survival and then putting them there would be the logical thing to do because all is done for their sake. But I don’t know why he chose the “other path”, do you? From your post, I get the feeling you believe in the Big Bang Theory – so do I. I believe that’s when the universe was created with its laws (like a programmer making a program that would do certain things at certain time). Even though he is omnipotent and can do whatever he wishes but he doesn’t. The universe do not run in an arbitrary manner (I gave some examples of that previously), it follows logic set by the almighty himself. You should stop watching the weather channel if you think everything is just spontaneous.

Now – Time. Yes that is a very interesting concept. I agree that time is a relative thing and God doesn’t run according to ours. Here is a better explanation. Time is the 4th dimension of the UNIVERSE. Time is only in universe. God isn’t in the Universe, so our time wouldn’t affect him. He has no time, thus he sees everything, and he sees the future. (Yeah it’s hard to imagine time being a dimension ). I failed to see what you are trying to say with time… if you are saying that God’s “waiting” was not as much ours “waiting”, I still ask “why didn’t he make a perfect state for human being, the very first split-second?”

Plus I don't think the author was justifying God's existence with that question at all. He was just trying to contemplate for a second how impossible it is to contemplate a world with out carbon.
Well the author does not necessarily have to spell out, THUS GOD EXIST for you. But he is certainly implying some sort of evidence for divine purpose.

Now read the question again.

And whats wrong with discarding a theory if a flaw is found? thats how "science" works doesn't it? Isn't that how you prove and disprove scientific theories?
Was this the question in discussion? Sorry – I could swear I don’t remember seeing that question. Anyways, there is nothing wrong with discarding a theory if a flaw is found. You are absolutely right, that’s how science works. As I said in my earlier post, I believe in God and at the same time Evolution sounds plausible. It may be wrong – no doubt. It will be great if some can comprehensibly prove/disapprove it. But believer seem to oppose Evolution merely because they feel it is questioning God’s existence. (read last paragraph of Nasif’s reply to me). They think by disapproving Evolution (I am still waiting), they are proving God’s existence. They fail to understand that they also need to justify their theory (it seems they didn’t even get close to anything). Without evidence, nothing holds – whether or not it is true.

You next paragraphs seem to jump into Quran before even finishing God.. so I will let it pass.. But one last post just to amuse my mind...

And some people actually claim if there is a God He is evil coz look at all the injustice in the world.
LOL, don’t take Tehsin’s words too seriously now. I was gonna reply to him but I felt he doesn’t even know what he is talking about. (sorry tehsin bhai – Good that you are not reading it anyway! -)

Nasif bhai, I will reply to yours later – bhalo lage na aar.. wasted too much time on pompous –
Pompous, eventhough you said that was your last post – I do however expect a reply. Allah Hafez.

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Old August 7, 2003, 06:22 PM
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Nope Orpheus...I won't reply specifically to any comments including yours anymore though the temptation is there. I will just say this that the jist of my criticism of your point of view was that Allah didnot create anything without a reason or so He says! ergo......
I don't know what your definition fo personal attack is but I thought I was not attacking anyone but debating their viewpoints. I would rather call such statements as "so and so is is saying such and such out of fear or whatever" more offensive and insulting than actually challenging a viewpoint because now you are getting personal about their abilities and character. Don't you agree?! ...and I was talking about the futility of common sense...NOT futility of this discussion!!!...and I wasnnot singling out Tehsin bhai...that kind of a view is one we often come across don't we?!....there I go again...getting drawn into it :P

Anyways, I am done with this thread.
My reasons being,

1. I have had enough (driven by fear according to orph and by "enough is is enough" according to me!)
2. I would rather go and learn some more and take stock of all that was said in this thread. There is enough material for me to feed on for a while.
3. Sometimes when you hammer a point too much you can damage the woodwork!
4. Sometimes when one debates for a prolonged period of time, one forgets to listen! I am wary of reaching that point.

For what its worth I don't think you are a dumb****, orpheus.

[Edited on 7-8-2003 by pompous]
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Old August 9, 2003, 11:46 PM
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Orpheus Orpheus is offline
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Default Hmmm

Even though this discussion seems to be dead but here is my reply to Nasif bhai as I promised but before that I will give a piece of my mind to pompous…
Allah didnot create anything without a reason
I don't know what your definition fo personal attack is but I thought I was not attacking anyone but debating their viewpoints.
Perhaps “PA” was not the right sets of words (you know me and my english) but you surely were very dismissive with unnecessary emotion such as “eh?”, “WOW”, mild sarcasm, “brave comment” ittadi ittadi. What do you really expect me to infer from those?
I would rather call such statements as "so and so is is saying such and such out of fear or whatever" more offensive and insulting than actually challenging a viewpoint because now you are getting personal about their abilities and character. Don't you agree?!
First notice what I said. It was “fear of PA” (parenthesis followed after words “PA”) – I think we have been in this forum long enough to realize how most discussions end. So it is in a sense better to stay out. So, that comment was actually a sort of compliment to your character from my perspective.
and I was talking about the futility of common sense...NOT futility of this discussion!!!...
Well I wasn’t necessarily referring to that particular sentence of yours. I think you may have said something about useless debates… but I maybe wrong. By the way, not sure what you mean by futility of common sense? Common sense as in God exist ????
Anyways, I am done with this thread.
My reasons being,
Perfectly understood!
For what its worth I don't think you are a dumb****, orpheus.
To tell you the truth, it doesn’t worth much! I couldn’t care less what you or anyone else for that matter thought about me.

Finally – I apologize for whatever YOU may have inferred insulting. Allah Hafez!

Now – Nasif Bhai!
Even though this doesn’t affect the main discussion much but I do have to show that I wasn’t wrong or making things up
Yes I am aware of the RSA encryption. By the way as far as I know, most recent cracked RSA number was 64 bit encryption.
Perhaps! You are talking about encryptions that were implemented.
There is no 129 bit encryption. There is 128bit, 256bit, 512bit encryption etc (in power of 2).
Well I was really talking about the mathematics side of the RSA encryption, not necessarily the encryption itself. The implemented encryptions are in the power of 2 but mathematically it can be any number. RSA – #, where # is the number of digits in the product of two prime numbers.

Cracking the “encryption” would be to find those two primes. So there is RSA – 129 and my story was NOT made up. You can do a google search of RSA-129. Thus, rest of that cryptography jargon along with Neo project is not necessary anymore.

But still your argument on effort holds even for RSA-129. I will add that it’s pretty good one . I thought RSA analogy was pretty good and I gave my reasons on the conclusion on that post (you can read it again). Anyhow, I will not further argue with it because I don’t have detailed knowledge on this issue and don’t feel like gaining it either…. Shob text book article!
The reason I posted the that small article was not to show God's existance but to show that there is an external force at work and there is a deliberate wish to create life.
External force = GOD, whatever your reason was!
You have to understand how hard it is to fuse an atom if they are not stable. Fusion of H to He occurs in sun due to extraordinary stability of He at those extreme temperature. For that very reason formation of Carbon is very unlikey. I thought the article was very clear about that. Question/answer method of writing is probably this writer's way of writing. That doesn't overshadow the fact of extraordinary effort that is required to create one single atom of Carbon.
Looks like the article wasn’t that clear to me. This is what I understood.
First the author explains how it’s hard to make carbon because beryllium-8 is so unstable that it doesn’t stay long enough to react with helium. But berrylium-9 is stable however a collision with Helium-4 does not make carbon-12. So he is asking himself - Universe is there w/o carbon but we are not. If it’s so hard, how/why is it formed? He sees God for a split second.
God disappears because there is a resonance. This resonance lets helium to stay long enough to form carbon (was tested in Lab – talk about God’s hand?). Now he is being a bit clever and asking but why this resonance? Now you see the problem here right? He will keep asking “but why this” … well because of that… “but why that” – it’s never ending because he wants to believe in purpose.
Question/answer method of writing is probably this writer's way of writing. That doesn't overshadow the fact of extraordinary effort that is required to create one single atom of Carbon.
That’s a stupid style of writing. About the extraordinary effort – let’s quote something from the article where the author describes resonance in laymen’s terms..
A resonance describes an effect where one gets a big result from a relatively small effort. Pluck a string in a certain way and you get a big sound for a small pull; do it some other way and it goes flat.

I agree. There is a deliberate attempt all over this planet to create life. The air pressure, temperature (such a short range of temperature supports life thats just amazing), water cycle, seasonal changes and photosynthesis of plant (one of the most amazing thing in nature).
What do you mean deliberate attempt? I thought I already gave a very good reasoning behind this – the anthropic principle. I will reiterate. For ex: let’s take the ranges of temperature… I don’t know the range but let’s assume it’s 0-100 (Celsius). Now you are saying, that is God’s work, it could have been different range. Let’s say – the temperature in the earth fluctuated from -500 to -300 (Celsius). Well then you wouldn’t be here. Current condition is PERFECT for you to survive, that’s why you exist. You are reasoning the other way (not that logical), it’s because of us – the ranges were made that way. I hope I am clear. If an intelligent species survived in -500 to -300 range, then they would be asking… why such range? This argument is basically dead-lock here but its better to go with more logical one.
A perfect life would have self food creation system like plants and mobility like animal. That would have given it full control over the planet. Sadly that type of life never evolved on this earth. Wonder why natural selection didn't select best of both world?
That perfect life is the figment of your imagination. What makes you think that natural selection is aiming for “perfect life”? Natural selection selects the best from the CURRENT bunch. You can try making a perfect life by having sex with a tree – up to you!
You may ask then why do we have a choice to have a child whenever we want? Well, you may wish to have a child and have sex but you cannot have a child unless its authorized. Doesn't matter how hard you try, ultimately you are left to mercy of God.
Again you perceive whatever you want. I will reemphasize that there is a process. There is always a reason why a couple can’t have children. Let’s say the guy has some dead sperms, it is not penetrating the eggs. There are so many other medical reasons. Perhaps it is God’s will but it’s not like everything is perfect but no child! You see my point here?
In the Holy text, pregnancy is often regarded as the “mercy of God” – just like you wrote. Pre-marital sex is a sin but why bless them with a child? It’s about choice right? There are a lot of unwanted pregnancy…wasn’t God reading their mind?
My posts on this thread is indeed to expose the fallasy and common misconception held about the theory of evolution.
Appreciated it!
it is God who created the quarks, the protons, the elections, the atom, the fusion, the fission, the matter, the anti-matter, you, me and 6 billion others human and trillion other living system on this tiny planet..
Again, technically God created everything but he didn’t create everything individually. All you need is quarks to get to the rest. From quarks you will get proton and neutron – from those two, you will have atoms and then molecules, gas etc. I don’t know what you mean by God created fusion and fission – they are reactions and are from certain characteristics of protons and etc… If it was only at God’s will that fission worked, we would be seeing Nuclear Bombs exploding without ignition.

Anyways this redundancy is getting really really boring… my final though….NOTHING IS ARBITRARY except for our cricket team selection.
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Old August 10, 2003, 02:41 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Default Reviving the debate: one topic at a time

Nasif posed the following question:

3. Why does all animal species appear all of a sudden in Cambrian period? "The beginning of the Cambrian period, some 545 million years ago, saw the sudden appearance in the fossil record of almost all the main types of animals (phyla) that still dominate the biota today". (from Science). What happened to gradual evolution?

1. Chris Nedin of the department of Geology, Adelaide University in Australia writes in talk.origins:

What most people think of as the "Cambrian Explosion" is, in actual fact, not a sudden burst of life, but a rapid increase in the number of fossils found in the fossil record. This is because around this time organisms started to mineralize their exoskeletons using the abundant calcium and carbonate from the surrounding seawater. Previously to this, organisms had entirely organic exoskeletons similar to many insects today. This type of exoskeleton is not easily preserved and usually decays too rapidly to survive as a fossil. The much tougher mineralized exoskeletons preserved far better, resulting in a large increase in the number of fossils.

The second claim usually made about the "Cambrian Explosion" is that most if not all of the major animal groups came into existance at this time. This claim is not correct. It is almost certain that such major groups as annelids (worms), cnidarian (corals and jellyfish), gastropods (snails) and probably arthropods have a pre-Cambrian history.

It should be pointed out that almost all pre-Cambrian fossils have no hard parts such as mineralized exoskeletons, and as such they are very unlikely to be preserved.

While there was a rapid (over a 5-10 million year period) diversification of animal life during the "Cambrian Explosion", this was a diversification from an already existing stem stock of organisms, which were soft bodied and thus underrepresented in the fossil record.

What we see in the fossil record are representatives of all the major groups which possess mineralized body parts. This record funnels back to the Early Cambrian where most of the groups apparently disappear. This disappearance does not represent the origin of the group, as some would suggest, but the origin of mineralized hard parts. The groups continue to exist below their occurrence in the fossil record, but they appear to be absent because they have no hard parts and are not fossilised.

The "Cambrian Explosion" represents what we call a taphanomic boundary, that is, it represents a large increase in the chances of organisms to be fossilised (by having hard parts) and hence appear in the fossil record. It does not represent the origin of those groups.
Source: www.talkorigins.org/origins/feedback/jun97.html

2. An editorial in Takorigins:
The reader asserts that "macroevolution by any known naturalistic processes is impossible." That's quite an unsupported assertion, but unfortunately for the reader, the scientific evidence proves him wrong. Presumably the reader is aware of the fact that the geological record shows widespread and significant change in the types of organisms that have existed throughout the planet's history. For over three billion years, the planet was entirely populated by single celled organisms. There were no mammals, no fish, and no trees. Then, during the Cambrian explosion approximately 550 million years ago, dozens of new forms appeared, some with fossilizable hard body parts that allowed us to witness the birth of some of the Earth's earliest multicellular organisms. With a few exceptions, these pioneering invertebrates that appeared in the Cambrian were bizarre by today's standards. For instance, the giant Anomalocaris was a strange-looking creature vaguely reminiscent of a squid, but with two odd feeding arms protruding from the bottom of its head.

Anomalocaris, like many of the other Cambrian organisms, does not fit into any of the broad categories, known as phyla, that characterize modern organisms. Nevertheless, while today we wouldn't recognize most of the organisms from the Cambrian period, it is believed that all but one modern phylum had an early representative in that period.

Later on came a further diversification of life, which Stephen Jay Gould has described as "variation on set anatomical themes" established during the Cambrian explosion. Fish emerge 500 million years ago; primitive sharks emerge 375 million years ago; amphibians, insects and ferns emerge 350 million years ago; reptiles emerge 300 million years ago; primitive crocodiles and mammals emerge 200 million years ago; dinosaurs go extinct 65 million years ago; many modern mammal species emerge between 65 and 20 million years ago; primitive bipedal hominids with small brain capacities emerge 4 million years ago; the first primitive humans emerge 1.6 million years ago. Life has obviously done a lot of changing over time.

If the reader was taught that the fossil record proves Darwinism true because it presents a progression from simple to complex, then he was taught wrong, and he misunderstands Darwinism. The fossil record does not progress from simple to complex, nor is Darwinian selection a theory of such progress. Darwinian natural selection is simply a progress-neutral mechanism for adaptive change.

When I pointed out earlier that evolution predicts that organisms with recent common ancestors will share a large amount of their genetic material, the reader responded that "intelligent design" also predicts genetic similarity.

But why does intelligent design predict this? Couldn't an omnipotent creator just as easily have chosen to make all his animals with completely divergent genetic makeups? Unlike evolutionary theory, "intelligent design" would explain divergent genomes just as easily as it explains similar genomes.

Concepts like creationism that can explain everything explain nothing. Evolution, which is supported by numerous and independent lines of evidence, is a robust scientific theory that is falsifiable and makes predictions.
Source: www.talkorigins.org/origins/feedback/nov96.html

3. From “Introduction to Evolutionary Biology,” Version 2, Copyright © 1996-1997 by Chris Colby:

Animals start appearing prior to the Cambrian, about 600 million years ago. The first animals dating from just before the Cambrian were found in rocks near Adelaide, Australia. They are called the Ediacarian fauna and have subsequently been found in other locales as well. It is unclear if these forms have any surviving descendants. Some look a bit like Cnidarians (jellyfish, sea anemones and the like); others resemble annelids (earthworms). All the phyla (the second highest taxonomic category) of animals appeared around the Cambrian. The Cambrian 'explosion' may have been a result of higher oxygen concentrations enabling larger organisms with higher metabolisms to evolve. Or it might be due to the spreading of shallow seas at that time providing a variety of new niches. In any case, the radiation produced a wide variety of animals.

Some paleontologists think more animal phyla were present then than now. The animals of the Burgess shale are an example of Cambrian animal fossils. These fossils, from Canada, show a bizarre array of creatures, some which appear to have unique body plans unlike those seen in any living animals.

The extent of the Cambrian explosion is often overstated. Although quick, the Cambrian explosion is not instantaneous in geologic time. Also, there is evidence of animal life prior to the Cambrian. In addition, although all the phyla of animals came into being, these were not the modern forms we see today. Our own phylum (which we share with other mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and fish) was represented by a small, sliver-like thing called Pikaia. Plants were not yet present. Photosynthetic protists and algae were the bottom of the food chain. Following the Cambrian, the number of marine families leveled off at a little less than 200.

The Ordovician explosion, around 500 million years ago, followed. This 'explosion', larger than the Cambrian, introduced numerous families of the Paleozoic fauna (including crinoids, articulate brachiopods, cephalopods and corals). The Cambrian fauna, (trilobites, inarticulate brachiopods, etc.) declined slowly during this time. By the end of the Ordovician, the Cambrian fauna had mostly given way to the Paleozoic fauna and the number of marine families was just over 400. It stayed at this level until the end of the Permian period.
Source: www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-biology.html
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Old August 10, 2003, 04:11 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Nasif wrote:

4. We are still waiting for at least a fossil of an intermediate species (let alone

an alive one). Why would natural selection destroy an evolved and better fit

intermediate species while un-evolved one is still around us (take a look atl the



1. Chris Nedin's Rebuttal:

Where are the Transitionals?

The relevance of this finding is the speed at which stabilising selection breaks down in response to environmental change. Here, as in the case of the Galapagos Finch species, there is a rapid response to a changing environment whereby clear morphological differences are seen to emerge (caveat - I haven't read the report yet so I do not know if the morphology of the new lizards exceeds the normal morphological variation of the original group. This is an important point as Clark pointed out - by the way Dorman, where is my video?!!). The island lizards are now morphologically different from the original population of lizards from the main island.

Now as has been pointed out (however tongue in cheek), this is not speciation. Or is it?

Certainly it is not biological speciation. The morphological changes have not resulted in reproductive isolation (provided the short-legged lizards get a helping . . umm, err, . . leg up) and so, using the biological species concept, the two groups of lizards are still the same species.

But, palaeontologists cannot use the biological concept of the species, nor DNA studies, in identifying fossil species. The only criterion we are left with is morphological comparison. Not that this is a problem by and large, since virtually all taxonomy is based primarily on morphological comparison. However, palaeontologists are further restricted in that we can only use mineralized body parts (bones, shells, etc.)

Suppose (and it is entirely possible assuming sufficient morphological dissimilarity) that these two morphotypes were considered different species if found as fossils only. Then, were we to look back from the future at the fossil record of this change (assuming the short-legged lizards survive for some appreciable amount of time), we would see one morphotype of lizard then two separate morphotypes, with no evidence of the transition between them because it occurred far too rapidly.

Thus, identifiable and stable, discontinuous variation in morphology has been seen to occur very rapidly. Since variation in morphology is the standard method of identifying fossil species, this example tends to support the view that such morphological changes tend to occur far too rapidly to be adequately represented in the fossil record.

The literalist creationist would then ask "where is the transitional species with intermediate leg length?". The answer would be that it is in a short time window of only 20 years (in this case) and thus finding any would be an impossible task.

These findings support the view that transitionals would be very rare in the fossil record.

Look at it another way:
No. in original
|        species A           species B           species C
|           * *                                     o o
|         *     *               @ @               o     o  x = fossils
|        *   x   *            @  x  @            o x     o
|       *  x x    *          @  x  x @          o  x   x  o
|      *       x   *        @   x x   @        o  x  x   x o
|     *    x x    x *      @ x      x  @      o  x  xxx     o
|   *   x  xx   x     *  @      x x      @  o      x     x    o
|*                    @  *      x x  x   o  @   x     xx  x      o

|                            |        |         |         |
|       |         |          |        |         |    C    |
|       |         |          |   B    |         |         |
|       |    A    |          |        |
|       |         |          |        |
|       |         |
|       |         |
             Morphological limits of species as found as fossils
Suppose species B evolved from A and C from B, in similar circumstances to those of the lizards. Then, looking back at the fossil record, we would see three distinct morphotypes which would be classed as different species. The total number of transitional individuals and the total length of time those transitional organisms existed is very small compared with the total numbers and length of time in existance of those organisms corresponding to the typical species morphology. Thus the morphological gaps between species A, B and C would be very hard to fill. The literalist creationist would point to the gaps and say "where are the transitionals? B cannot be transitional because it is a discrete species".

But supposing we were fortunate enough to find a small group of fossils intermediate between A and B, e,g:
|        species A      D     species B
|           * *         |
|         *     *       |       @ @              x = fossils
|        *   x   *      |     @  x  @
|       *  x x    *     |    @  x  x @
|      *       x   *   \|/  @   x x   @
|     *    x x    x *      @ x      x  @
|   *   x  xx   x     * x @      x x      @
|*                    @ x *      x x  x       @

|       |         |          |        |
|       |         |    D     |        |
|       |         |          |   B    |
|       |    A    |    ||    |        |
|       |         |    ||    |        |
|       |         |    ||
|       |         |
             Morphological limits of species as found as fossils
The cry would still go up "where is the intermediates between A and D and D and C?" This is the 'transitional fossil infinite regression'. But, as the lizard study tends to support, finding a complete series is next to impossible given the speed that discontinuous morphological variation between groups can occur.
Source: www.talkorigins.org/origins/postmonth/may97.html

2. Archaeopteryx as a transitional fossil: A refutation of creationist claims by Chris Nedin can be found here:


3. From "Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution" Copyright © 1995-1997 by Mark Isaak :

Misconception: "There are no transitional fossils."

A transitional fossil is one that looks like it's from an organism intermediate between two lineages, meaning it has some characteristics of lineage A, some characteristics of lineage B, and probably some characteristics part way between the two. Transitional fossils can occur between groups of any taxonomic level, such as between species, between orders, etc. Ideally, the transitional fossil should be found stratigraphically between the first occurrence of the ancestral lineage and the first occurrence of the descendent lineage, but evolution also predicts the occurrence of some fossils with transitional morphology that occur after both lineages. There's nothing in the theory of evolution which says an intermediate form (or any organism, for that matter) can have only one line of descendents, or that the intermediate form itself has to go extinct when a line of descendents evolves.

To say there are no transitional fossils is simply false. Paleontology has progressed a bit since Origin of Species was published, uncovering thousands of transitional fossils, by both the temporally restrictive and the less restrictive definitions. The fossil record is still spotty and always will be; erosion and the rarity of conditions favorable to fossilization make that inevitable. Also, transitions may occur in a small population, in a small area, and/or in a relatively short amount of time; when any of these conditions hold, the chances of finding the transitional fossils goes down. Still, there are still many instances where excellent sequences of transitional fossils exist. Some notable examples are the transitions from reptile to mammal, from land animal to early whale, and from early ape to human. For many more examples, see the transitional fossils FAQ in the talk.origins archive, and see http://www.geo.ucalgary.ca/~macrae/talk_origins.html for sample images for some invertebrate groups.

The misconception about the lack of transitional fossils is perpetuated in part by a common way of thinking about categories. When people think about a category like "dog" or "ant," they often subconsciously believe that there is a well-defined boundary around the category, or that there is some eternal ideal form (for philosophers, the Platonic idea) which defines the category. This kind of thinking leads people to declare that Archaeopteryx is "100% bird," when it is clearly a mix of bird and reptile features (with more reptile than bird features, in fact). In truth, categories are man-made and artificial. Nature is not constrained to follow them, and it doesn't.

Some Creationists claim that the hypothesis of punctuated equilibrium was proposed (by Eldredge and Gould) to explain gaps in the fossil record. Actually, it was proposed to explain the relative rarity of transitional forms, not their total absence, and to explain why speciation appears to happen relatively quickly in some cases, gradually in others, and not at all during some periods for some species. In no way does it deny that transitional sequences exist. In fact, both Gould and Eldredge are outspoken opponents of Creationism.

"But paleontologists have discovered several superb examples of intermediary forms and sequences, more than enough to convince any fair-minded skeptic about the reality of life's physical genealogy." - Stephen Jay Gould, Natural History, May 1994
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Old August 10, 2003, 04:30 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Nasif also talked about the following:

2. A cell cannot be created. Those who think that Stanley's experiment to create amino acid (building block of cell) was a success needs to re-read the experiment procedure. Scientists now know that a cell cannot be created and neither can it come into existance by itself. Research to create cell has stopped for a long time (no one even tries, cause its IMPOSSIBLE). There is not a even a chance in 1 in billion trillion to create even one part of a cell (say mitocondrea), let alone a whole cell itself. Those who think a cell can come into existance by itslef needs to take basic college leve. Probability and Statistics class!

1. The following is an email response entitled "Re: Abiogenesis
Post of the Month: April 1998" from talk.origins email archives.

On 1 Apr 1998 00:12:13 -0500, "RD Heilman" wrote:

>colinpeters@geocities.com wrote in message
>>In article ,
>> "RD Heilman" wrote:

>>If there is anything resembling a party line concerning abiogenesis it
>>is that abiogenesis most probably happened spontaneously. As to exactly
>>how it might have happened there is no agreement whatsoever (though the
>>RNA world hypothesis seems to be winning).
>Yes, but still this is a far cry from a living organism. Unless we call the
>world where RNA molecules are able to replicate themselves, serving as
>their own enzyme,*living*. Not that I am suggesting anyone does. But where
>does this leave us?

At the first stage of development of organisms we would recognize as living. From self-replicating ribozymes, you could progress to say, ribozymes in liposomes, to membrane bound ribozymes with amino acid co-catalysts, to ribozymes coding for proteins [1]. Step by step you progress toward something we would recognise as an organism (but not, of course a modern one).

>From what I have read replicating molecules is rather
>easy done in a modern lab. For example:
>Sol Spegelman in the 60s experimented with a supply of virus which he
>placed in a test tube, enriched a supply of the replicase enzyme that was
>required by the virus in order to replicate its RNA and an ample supply of
>free nucleotides. After he mixed these, and arranged a flow of materials
>into the system, he waited to see what happened. In the beginning the
>RNA copied itself rather faithfully. However, mutations quickly started
>cutting the RNA strands in half. These strands became increasingly
>shorter until after about 70 generations the RNA lengths stabilized at
>the shortest possible length capable of replicating itself. This strand
>contained about 220 nucleotides, little more than the recognition sight
>for the replicase enzyme. This molecule, labeled the Spiegelman Monster
>was able to reproduce itself at a fantastic rate in this protected test
>tube environment. But could not survive in the unprotected world,
>to say nothing of its survival in the primordial ocean.

Why would it not survive in a prebiotic world, where there are no competitors? [2]

>Manfred Eigen took the experiment one step further and started his
>experiment without the seed virus and with essentially the same results.
>This gave support to the naked gene hypothesis, which proposed
>that the first RNA consisting of a hundred or so nucleotides having
>only one purpose - to replicate themselves. But what are the chances
>of such a self - assembling molecule happening in the primordial
>seas, not to mention surviving.

Quite good actually. There are 1.6 x 10^60 possible 100 nucleotide sequences. In a primordial ocean of 10^24 litres with a nucleotide concentration of 10^-6M (reasonably dilute), assembling a 100 nucleotides sequences on clay al la Ferris [3] and assuming it takes a week to make a full sequence, then you can have produced roughly 1 x 10^50 sequences in a year! As it has been estimated that one in every 1 x 10^17 random RNA sequences is a high efficiency ligase [4], the chances of getting at least one self-replicating polymerase (or small self replicating assembly) is quite high.

Survival should be quite good, polynucleotides are quite stable (in the order of thousands of years), and there are no competitions to gobble them up, so a replicating ribozyme should come to dominate any lake or ocean it is in. With competition for resources, variants of the original ribozyme will come to dominate in certain environments.

>A second problem is the Gene-Protein linkup problem.
>The noble prize winning chemist, Walter Gilbert built upon the above
>work as well as the contributions of Orgel and others. Orgel succeeded
>in getting RNA to form new molecules in an energy rich nucleotide
>units then form new RNA chains matching the existing ones. They then
>automatically would form the double helix configuration. Gilbert proposed
>a scenario for the emergence of life. Beginning with self-catalytic ability
>needed to assemble themselves from the soup. Followed by
>recombination and mutation in order to explore new functions. Then the
>RNA molecules formed proteins. The protein enzymes are encoded by RNA.
>Finally the DNA appears giving a stable error correcting store of
>information. The main RNA functions, were then taken over by its creations, the protein
>and DNA.
>The problem with this scenario is the same as with the others - getting the
>first step: getting the self - replicating RNA which experimentally comes only from
>present day modern RNA. Thus, the question is, how far have we come
>from the requirement for first life?

RNA (or RNA lookalikes [5]) can be generated abiotically, and RNA (or RNA lookalikes) can polymerize on clay substrates. Under plausible abiotic conditions virtually all possible 100 nucleotide sequences could be produced in under a billion years. We have come quite a long way.

>>The problem is that when you said
>>"then biological evolution would have no foundation,
>>since biological evolution proceeds only through natural
>>processes. And so, it seems a logical extension that life
>>must have also originated in the same manner." you seem to be
>>saying that if abiogenesis cannot be shown to be possible then
>>biological evolution must similarly be impossible
>I can accept your contention that abiogenesis is distinct from
>biological evolution, nevertheless it is a continuous and unbroken
>chain, beginning with or before the appearance of the
>self-replicating RNA which mutated, recombined and progressed
>up through the stage where it began to synthesis protein,
>enzymes and DNA. This process continued to mutate, the most
>efficient pre-cursor to life replicating and leaving the most
>offspring thus prenatural selection is born(?). This process
>continues to replicate and mutate until the first living biological
>entity appears. This first living entities continue to replicate,
>mutate, and become increasing complex. The first bacteria,
>blue-green algae, etc. appears and these or some relative
>prokaryote cells enter into a symbiotic relationship thus the
>first primitive eukaryotic cells are born. Long before this
>juncture ie the appearance of eukaryotic cells *evolution*
>was well on its way. But to call the process from the first
>RNA molecule to the first living entity is not evolution. Just
>how arbitrary is the break in this continuous process where
>non-evolution ends and evolution begins?

Evolution begins when you have replication, heredity (as you can have replication without heredity in some hypercycle systems) and selection of variant copies. So you could be justified in applying this to the first self-replicating RNA ribozyme. However the events leading up to the first self-replicating RNA ribozyme (prebiotic nucleotide synthesis RNA polymers assembled on clay, non-self replicating hypercycles) are not evolution.

Yes it is hard to decide what is the dividing line, even today it is hard to call the line between living and non-living (is a virus alive? it can replicate and evolve, a prion?). This in itself suggests that life is a natural process rather than divine fiat or deliberate construction.

>>when they do
>>not, in fact, work in the same manner at all, except insofar as
>>both are thought to be natural processes. Biological evolution
>>has been demonstrated to work, to the satisfaction of the vast
>>majority of scientists. Abiogenesis has not, but since they are
>>separate issues this does not make anyone doubt the veracity of
>>biological evolution.
>Is this a fair question: is abiogenesis and evolution distinct because
>abiogenesis is poorly supported, consequently, it can lend no support
>to evolution? But then neither can it throw into question the veracity
>of evolution. So how can we know whether or not this is a protective

Abiogenesis and evolution are distinct because they involve distinctly different natural processes.

>>Pasteur's experiment has demonstrated that water in a sterile
>>test-tube will not result in abiogenesis in a century or two (I believe the
>>test-tube is still on display in Paris). That hardly demonstrates that
>>life cannot arise from non-living matter on an entire planet full of
>>chemical reactions over the course of thousands or millions of years.
>Here again the proof is in the pudding. And there is scant evidence to the
>contrary. Pasteur also experimented with broth that had been sterilized
>(boiled). Then by using a flask with a crooked neck, in order to keep out
>microbes, was he able to demonstrate his hypotheses. Since microbes
>did not reach the sterile broth living organisms could not or did not
>appear. Thus, proving his hypothesis that life comes only from pre-existing life.

Again, no one is expecting an "amino acids to cyanobacteria" type transition that this implies. Furthermore, a litre or so of broth sitting quietly in a glass container for a century and a half is nothing like the primordial earth, where billions of litres of reactive chemicals in the ancients seas are churned by waves and mixed on catalytic clay and sand beaches, and even in this situation we might expect millennia to pass before we see something that could be defined as life (See Lacano refs at [5]).

>One thing is certain by removing the origin of life to an inaccessible time
>and place, researchers can never falsify the theory of the origin of life
>regardless of what theory scientist may advance. Consequently, they can
>experiment until their hearts are content with whatever results, great or
>small, they may obtain. No cynicism meant. just a statement of fact
>(as I see it).

This isn't true. The origin of life is placed where it is by evidence. As more evidence is accumulated various scenarios can be eliminated (as some have), new types of tests can be devised. Not long ago we had no way of detecting fossil bacteria, now we can. With more research we will undoubtedly be able to think of new ways of accessing these past times.

Cheers! Ian

[1] Here I am giving only one possible scenario, others include "protein hypercycles first, then RNA/DNA" and "protein/RNA co-development".

[2] I am aware that this example required a pre-existing polymerase and that as well as the RNA , a polymerase would have to be around. However, in the prebiotic world this polymerase would not have to be anything like modern polymerases, even clay might do nicely, and so polymerase availability is not as limiting as in a modern example.

[3]Ferris JP, Hill AR Jr, Liu R, and Orgel LE. (1996 May 2). Synthesis of long prebiotic oligomers on mineral surfaces [see comments] Nature, 381, 59-61.

[4]Ekland EH, Szostak JW, and Bartel DP. (1995 Jul 21). Structurally complex and highly active RNA ligases derived from random RNA sequences. Science , 269, 364-70.

[5] See:

Miller SL. (1997 Mar). Peptide nucleic acids and prebiotic chemistry Nat Struct Biol , 4, 167-9.

Hager AJ, and Szostak JW. (1997 Aug). Isolation of novel ribozymes that ligate AMP-activated RNA substrates Chem Biol , 4, 607-17.

James KD, and Ellington AD. (1997 Aug). Surprising fidelity of template-directed chemical ligation of oligonucleotides [In Process Citation] Chem Biol , 4, 595-605.

Schwartz AW. (1997 Aug). Speculation on the RNA Precursor Problem J Theor Biol , 187, 523-7.

Bolli M, Micura R, and Eschenmoser A. (1997 Apr). Pyranosyl-RNA: chiroselective self-assembly of base sequences by ligative oligomerization of tetranucleotide-2',3'-cyclophosphates (with a commentary concerning the origin of biomolecular homochirality). Chem Biol , 4, 309-20.

Bohler C, Nielsen PE, and Orgel LE. (1995 Aug 17). Template switching between PNA and RNA oligonucleotides Nature , 376, 578-81.

Lazcano A, and Miller SL. (1996 Jun 14). The origin and early evolution of life: prebiotic chemistry, the pre- RNA world, and time. Cell , 85, 793-8.

Ertem G, and Ferris JP. (1996 Jan 18). Synthesis of RNA oligomers on heterogeneous templates. Nature , 379, 238-40.

Ishizaka M, Ohshima Y, and Tani T. (1995 Sep 14). Isolation of active ribozymes from an RNA pool of random sequences using an anchored substrate RNA. Biochem Biophys Res Commun , 214, 403-9.


Peta, Ian and Jack Francis

reynella at werple dot mira dot net dot au

Aitch Tee Tee Pee colon slash slash werple dot mira dot net dot au slash tilde reynella
Source: www.talkorigins.org/origins/postmonth/apr98.html

2. Also check out this link:

Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics,
and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations
by Ian Musgrave

3. And a history of faulty probability calculations of abiogenesis by creationists over the years can be found here:

Are the Odds Against the Origin of Life Too Great to Accept?

Happy reading.

[Edited on 10-8-2003 by Arnab]

[Edited on 10-8-2003 by Arnab]
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Old August 14, 2003, 10:22 PM
rafiq rafiq is offline
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Old August 15, 2003, 05:38 AM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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You sure? You want people who waste valuable time on internet boards researching on inconsequential topics?
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